Election Update: Cubs on Brink; What's Next in This Crazy Year?

“Good pitching will always stop good hitting–and vice versa.” Casey Stengel.
The 2016 World Series is a pitchers’ duel, except when it’s not. The Cubs have Theo Epstein, who orchestrated the Red Sox win in ’04. But the Indians have the former Sox manager Terry Francona. Only one team will find the magic mix of pixie dust.
Hillary Clinton’s mix of magic dust now has more dust than glitter.
Media accounts were calling it an October Surprise. But the surprise didn’t come from the Trump camp. It came from the FBI.
Before the FBI announced the reopening of the Clinton email investigation, Peggy Noonan opined that Trump’s purpose in history  would end short of winning the White House. Continue reading “Election Update: Cubs on Brink; What's Next in This Crazy Year?”

Feed Your Neighbors: Buy Local

Next Thursday is our community’s Trick-or-Treat night. On that day, my husband, with all the enthusiasm and anticipation of an eager child, will carve our pumpkin. Then, he’ll light its candle. And even before dark, our porch light will alert our neighborhood munchkins that our house is Trick-or-Treater-friendly.

In previous years, we had stockpiled candy from the grocery store, candy shipped in from far away factories. A few years ago, it occurred to us that in our very own community is a candy factory that employs many local people—our neighbors.

Almost daily, we would drive past the factory store as if it were not there. Then one day, I went inside. Yum!—fresh, locally produced extravagances that my neighbors sell to me. Here were the treats of my youth—forgotten in the busyness of adulthood.

As a child, I would traipse around our neighborhood with my older brother. One year, it snowed, and we were the only ones knocking on doors, braving the wind blowing giant flakes sideways. Such was our devotion to confections.

Many neighbors dropped the locally made candy into my pillowcase sack. But I grew up to be a mother who valued the convenience of one-stop shopping. I heeded the sirens of nationally marketed sweets.

Yet, as other local enterprises closed their doors, the candy factory stayed.

My neighbors worked there for decades before I was born.

You might not have a candy factory in your community, which—considering the way some of us feed our sweet tooths—should keep the large corporate candy makers from toppling any time soon. But there are other ways to shop locally and bless our neighbors.

It’s a simple matter to search out locally owned stores, restaurants, farm stands, bakeries, and other businesses. Buying locally allows us to share the resources that we might otherwise distribute far and wide. And there are other advantages besides helping to employ our neighbors.

Locally grown food is fresher, tastes better, and is healthier. And we don’t have to buy everything locally to make a significant difference in our community.

According to loyaltolocal.com, “If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.”
It may be a bit more inconvenient to shop locally. It may even cost a bit more. But investing in a local business is ministry.

Feeding our neighbors as we feed ourselves is a creative way to love your neighbor.

Photo Credit: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/en/candy-corn-candy-halloween-treat-1726481/)

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Recalling History and Heroes

“This day is called the feast of Saint Crispin,” So said Shakespeare’s Henry V in his inspirational speech to his troops at Agincourt on this day in 1415.
Henry’s troops were outnumbered five to one. After the English victory, Henry proclaimed death to anyone who would take the glory from God for the day.
Today is the feast of Saint Crispin–October 25, that is. And it is a day to note historical events at Agincourt and beyond. Continue reading “Recalling History and Heroes”

Finding New Neighbors

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8.
In one week, Jameson will knock on my door for trick or treat. Jameson is my new next door neighbor. Well, he and his parents. Jameson is two years old, and his new house is aglow with orange lights in anticipation of a sweet day.
And there’s another neighbor I just met, Mary Jo. Mary Jo and I have lived within a block of each other for decades, but we’d never met before. She was working in her yard one day when I walked past with my houseguest. My son is deploying soon and has left his dog, Boomer, in our care.
Boomer is helping me connect with neighbors I’ve lived near for a very long time and with those who just moved in. Continue reading “Finding New Neighbors”

Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth

 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 
“And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:34:40.
Some people find God in nature. Rather, they find fellowship with God in nature. That works for my husband. He can go out on the trail, away from all the distractions of other people, work, and techno-gadgets. He reads scripture, prays, and communes with God.
I often find fellowship with God without going outside.  I find it through scripture, prayer, music, or a word from a friend–even in a memory of a word or deed from long ago.
I know a man whose family suffered a tragedy nearly three decades ago. He explains that he faced a situation he couldn’t fix. Someone else worshiped God by simply sitting with him, saying nothing, and listening when he was ready to talk. Continue reading “Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth”

Election Update: Chicago Cubs still alive; the GOP, not so much

A few weeks ago, I pointed out that the Cubs could win the World Series for the first time in 108 years and that the presidential election had gotten crazy.
The Cubs are still in the chase. And the election is even crazier.
In Utah, a gentleman (You get to use that term so seldom today) named Evan McMullin is polling at 22 percent with both Clinton and Trump tied at 26. I didn’t know he existed two days ago–even after a pollster called to ask who I would vote for. Yesterday, I found out that, in that one state, he is at least close to the margin of error. Continue reading “Election Update: Chicago Cubs still alive; the GOP, not so much”

Here, but Working for Another World

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.
Times looked dark for Esther and her people. She had become queen, but all Jews were marked to die. And she was a Jew.
Our days seem dark too. In America, Christians’ freedom to speak truth is under attack. In other places, Christians are marked to die as Esther and her people were. And many die for their faith.
“For such a time as this” is a phrase that’s been repeating itself in my heart and mind. Why are we here? And why now? It’s a question that perhaps a Nazi’s brother also once asked himself. Continue reading “Here, but Working for Another World”

The View from the Front Seat

It was a long drive that began in the evening. My parents put us in the car in the hopes that we would go to sleep. Our long-awaited trip to Florida had begun. At the time, Disneyworld was still a dream in Walt’s head.
Mom and Dad had saved up for the trip. They were always doing that. We would later go to the New York World’s Fair, Chicago for my oldest brother’s graduation from Navy training, and Holland, Michigan, for my other brother’s band trip. But this trip would be our last big one with all five of us.
My oldest brother was sixteen, my other brother, ten. I was six. It was the vacation before the oldest left, but after the youngest had grown old enough to remember.
About twenty minutes out we had to turn around. Mother had forgotten her Catalina swimsuit. It was white with a tiny red logo of a woman mid-dive. It was the suit Miss America contestants wore. It had been an investment. Continue reading “The View from the Front Seat”

To Every Season a Purpose

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecc 3

A time to be born, and a time to die;
One of my grandsons was born on a Monday. That Wednesday, my father died. Next month we plan to celebrate 100 years since Dad’s birth and all that our lives are because we knew him.
Each of us has our time to make a difference in the lives of others.
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
Spring is the season of new life and planting; fall is the harvest. I have cherries in my freezer, the harvest from summer, waiting to become jam or pie filling. Warm food for cold days.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. Continue reading “To Every Season a Purpose”