Saturday, October 31, 2009



So late
A Butterfly
It flew
Before me
From the
This day
Upon the door
Four Hundred
Eighty Three
Years Ago
And just
As freedom
Was thought
Dead then
So such life
Surprises us
At an hour
When we
It's light
Put out

-31 October 2000

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The naïveté of advocacy consists of thinking that if people just “see” something they’ll change.

There are two problems with that view.

1. The majority NEVER “see” it.

2. The majority of those who do “SEE” it think that seeing is enough.

Advocacy must persuade. In the world this is done through manipulation. In the spiritual realm this is accomplished, not by our rhetoric, but by the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart.


I did not grow up in a coffee drinking home, but as an adult I learned to appreciate this wonderful adult beverage when I went to work at an office where they served gourmet coffee every day. It is a gift from God through the hands of the growers and roasters. I’d like to share with you briefly about my five favorite coffees of all time.

1. Andersen’s: this is the best restaurant coffee I have ever tasted, and may be my favorite of all time, although I haven’t tasted any in over ten years. I once drank so much of it that I could not sleep at all. I’d do it again, but the Buellton, California restaurant is some 2000 miles from where I live now.

2. Volcano: a rich coffee available from Trader Joe’s. This coffee just kind of fills up all your senses with alertness and joy.

3. Texas Pinon: a New Mexico Coffee Company product. I loved the unique taste of the original Pinon, but this is even more vibrant.

4. Manzano Italiano: another New Mexico Coffee Company product. This coffee is filled with well-being.

5. Human Being: a Coffee People product. You have to go to the Portland, Oregon airport to get this one, but it’s worth it.

By the way, Kona coffee is undoubtedly the best coffee in the world, but it’s beyond my normal budgetary reach.

Maybe you have your own favorites.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009



She thought
The rains
Had come
It was
The Rustle
Of the leaves
Across the roof
I've heard them
Across the pavement
By the wind
And they
That even
The Dead
Can testify
When moved
By the Breath
Of God

-28 October 2000

Friday, October 23, 2009


The "BOOK OF OPINIONS" is an actual book which exists. It contains, as of today's date, 5,745 of my opinions.

Here is opinion number 2 from chapter 1.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


JESUS always laid the responsibility for having faith on the disciples.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Since 1966 I have read through the entire Bible 120 times. I’ve read it in 27 different translations so far. Right now I’m reading my 28th translation. Over the years I’ve learned much. I’d like to recommend two different ways of reading the Bible which each produce different results.

The first time I read through the Bible it took almost two full years. It was hard, even as a teenager, to learn the discipline of reading something every day. So many times we are daunted by such a large book as the Bible. One way of reading is just to do as much as you can each day and not worry about meeting any kind of deadline. There is no virtue in either the speed or amount of reading.

On the other hand, there is a time and place for a fast read, if you’re able to do it. Almost by accident in 1995 I did my first “Bible Dash”. In 16 days I read through the entire Bible. I set aside other reading, and television viewing, etc. to do it. This was amazing because for the first time I saw the entire flow of the scriptures in a way I’d never seen it before. Since then I’ve done at least one Bible Dash every year.

The slower method is like sipping. The faster one is like a big gulp. The slower gives depth and hand holds for living. The faster gives the Big Picture and the context of the scripture. However you choose to read, I’d encourage you to make a start and not quit until you’ve done it all. And then, of course, it’s a good idea to start it again because fast or slow you don’t get it all on one time or even 121 times.

Monday, October 19, 2009



They've started
Their flight
What was
Cut its
By maybe
I thought
We'd surely
Have them
Weeks to come
The Flight
It seems
Has begun
The canopy
Is weaving
A carpet

- 19 October 2000

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


When a people doesn’t have a history they are not a people. We cannot be what we are without knowing what we have been.

On 4 October 2009 out of 15 Restoration Movement churches in our county only 4 participated in an evening commemorating the 200th anniversary of Thomas Campbell’s composition of a seminal document, “The Declaration and Address”. Since Edgar County is one of the few counties in the entire United States in which Restoration Movement forms the majority religious group in the county, it was sad that most congregations were indifferent to this part of our history. I found the same attitude present in our churches in Oregon when I was talking with my brothers-in-law about any observances they might know of. It would be the same as if no one knew what the Declaration of Independence was or had showed up for any of the observances on 4 July 1976. Still, I would like to speak briefly about this as I did that night.

“The Declaration And Address” is not a document which has ever been authoritative in our brotherhood. It was not the entire course, but it was the starting point. It was a call to arms, not a battle plan.

We never intended it to be another human creed. In fact we were coming out against all humanly devised standards of doctrine. Only scripture covers all things necessary to the Christian life.

There were 13 propositions in “The Declaration And Address”. I would like to condense these down further to remind us of what we should not forget as we go to church and live the Christian life.

UNITY: We start at the goal
*The church of Christ is "essentially, intentionally and constitutionally one."
*Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is a sufficient profession.
*Division is a horrid evil.
*Human innovations have caused much evil in the church.

AUTHORITY: This is the only means to the goal
* The Bible alone as opposed to creeds or human schematics of doctrine.
* We need to stick to what the Bible says and not any inferences or deductions from it.
* Opinion is not to be made a condition of fellowship.

Let us remember to look both ways in life: back to where we came from and ahead to where we are going.

The entire text of this lengthy 19th century document is available at under Thomas Campbell on the Restoration Movement Texts page of that website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Thoughts on again seeing "OTHELLO"

This evening I finished watching the Lawrence Olivier filmed version of Othello. I had seen it during it’s theatrical run back in 1965, but the decades have not diminished either the power of the performance or of the words themselves penned even centuries earlier. The story is so full of close calls, of times when tragedy could have been averted, and yet it was not. How many times have we been on the brink ourselves and could have avoided even lesser calamities if we had learned shake off the power of wrong things in our lives.

Othello depicts the power of a lie in the mouth of a particularly persuasive villain. Even though he is evil we cannot, like the master of the unjust steward in Jesus’ parable, shake our heads in a small measure of admiration. Still, his lies cost the lives and reputations of almost every major character in the play.

Romeo and Juliet is not, at heart, a love story, but a story of hatred dominating a city to the point of throwing a priest into a conniving lie and others into constant duels and deaths and suicides. Each bore their own responsibility in the story, but still the hatred did its work in paving the way for all the evil to follow.

Hamlet focuses on revenge rather than justice. It is a false way of balancing the scales. Though there be some ground for it in the prior murder of his father, the revenge itself set no one free. The ghost, whether hallucinatory or real, destroyed a family and a kingdom. There are things in heaven and earth which should be left alone.

Julius Caesar deals with the devastation of peer pressure. The conspirators talked one another into doing what none would have done on his own. Caesar may have been ambitious, but they paved the way for Augustus and the empire which crushed and persecuted the Western World for centuries.

Richard III exposes the fallacy of trusting in self. The real king of history may not have been as evil as the one painted on stage, but the character set forth in the play trusted in himself until he ended up wanting to trust in a horse.

King Lear trusted in human beings. He thought others carry out his responsibility better than he could. Again, a family and kingdom are plunged into ruin.

Then there is Macbeth, listening to occult voices, fulfilling prophecies which did not need to be fulfilled, following the wishes of a stronger wife and laughing at true prophecies before his destruction.

We may not play upon such large stages, but every one of these wrong things confronts us in our own lives. In many of Shakespeare’s plays the only thing which turns a tragedy into a comedy is the abandonment of the wrong and the holding to the right. Let us turn whatever is set before us into a true comedy in which, rather than being crushed, the protagonist triumphs.



Now that the sun
Is getting up later
Even though
I get up the same
I can witness
His capture of the sky
For in the dawn
He paints
With colors
Seldom seen
And if the clouds
Will let him
He fills the whole horizon
With his hues
And in these days
When He comes unveiled
He is but a respite
And not a reprieve
But though
The winter seeks
To send Him
He still holds
Constant Court
For His Power
Can only be dimmed
And none can hold his rays
At their source

- 13 October 2000

Monday, October 12, 2009



The frost
Long absent
Came back
In the night
And though
The Sun
Sent him
On his way
Having once come
He said
You'll see me
For though
The sun
Sent me
On this day
My strength
Shall grow
As his wanes
And you
Shall see me
More days than this
For I am
Advance Man
And when
He comes
I shall stay
'Till Spring
Is stronger than me

- 9 October 2000

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Illinois Autumn: The Corn


We saw it
When its green
Could barely
Be perceived
And while
We watched it not
It possessed the land
And where
They had not been before
Corners now appeared
That must be looked
Around with care
For the corn
Grew to hide
Other lanes
And through
No hand touched it
It spread forth
Its leafy palms
To capture the Sun
And translate
It into
Something that could
Keep us the winter through
Its green has changed
And gone away
But after we
Have had our fill
What wisdom saved
Shall bring it forth

-7 October 2000

Friday, October 9, 2009

Illinois Autumn: The Rains


After they had
Slept a few days
The Rains came back
It was not enough
That they should
Bring forth fruit
But that they should
Turn the leaves of our
Pages to other days
And mark the earth
With life
And air their blessings
And when they seemed
Most inopportune
We remembered
That they gave us
A gift
The sun could not
For he would
Shine light
Upon our joys
But they
Would cry beside us
In the night
And in the dawn
They took our weeping
And left us a fresh face

- 4 October 2000

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Illinois Autumn

2000 was our first full year in the state of Illinois. That year I wrote a series of poems under the general title of "Illinois Autumn". Neither the cycle nor any of the indiviual poems have ever been published anywhere. I will post the first one today and some of the others later on as the season progresses.


It came
Almost the Hour
The Sun
Turned It's head south
The storm was
A cry
That summer
Had fled the land
She attempted a return
After the rains
But weakened
Was unable to stand
And seeing this
The northern breath
Thought to take possession
Of all her work
But harvesters
Forestalled His strength
And left but a straw
To blow where he willed
The pledge of Spring
Was called to count
And Autumn
Took its seat

-3 October 2000