Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Check out my recent Camping Trip on A BAND OF PILGRIMS.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just think how much more Samson could have been if he had been righteous as well as gifted. What heights of joy and satisfaction did he forfeit? How many thrilling victories did he trade for the mirage of flesh?

How much more could he have been?

How much more could we be?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Kick sat on the edge of the hearth, gingerly tracing a nasty cut on his forehead with his fingers. It was a dark moonless night, but despite the fact that it was early autumn the air was still warm. Kick wished he had a mirror to see how bad the cut was. In the stillness of the night he could plainly hear the stream he had heard while walking through the woods the day before. He looked in that direction, and although the woods were pitch black he entertained briefly the thought of trying to find the stream so he could clean his cut, but he decided to wait for morning when he could find his way more easily. “I don’t need another bump on my head,” he thought to himself.

It occurred to him that he didn’t know for sure how long he had lain unconscious inside the old fireplace before coming around. It could have been days for all he knew, but he thought that was unlikely. “Probably just a few hours,” he muttered to himself. With his hand, Kick felt the side of his head where dried blood ran down the side of his face and into his left eyebrow, hair and beard.

Despite the wound to his head and a splitting headache he actually felt a little better. The shakiness and nausea from the day before, or whenever that was, seemed to have subsided. Kick’s feet and lower legs, which were hanging over the lip of the hearth while he was unconscious, had fallen asleep so he stood up and walked around a bit. Behind the chimney, Kick noticed a fallen birch tree. He ripped off huge sheets of the flaky white bark and deposited them in the fireplace. Then he walked around snapping off dead limbs from those trees that ringed the clearing. When he came to the apple trees he located a hard pitted apple and ate it even though it wasn’t ripe. It was small and sharp tasting, but he was hungry enough to overlook that.

Before lighting the fire, Kick picked up the box which he had found hidden in the wall of the chimney. He grunted as he picked it up, surprised again by its weight, and set it down on the hearth outside of the fireplace. Then, producing a lighter from his pocket, he lit the birch bark which instantly blazed and crackled merrily.

By firelight Kick opened the box, the lid of which was rusted shut. Using a nearby stick as a lever he managed to force the lid open and inside he discovered a higglety-pigglety heap of gold and silver coins. They were covered in soot, but as he ran his thumb across a coin the gold shined brilliantly in the firelight. The silver was tarnished black.

“What do the Widjiwats want with this?” he wondered.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


"So, if you mix those two chemicals together you can make a baby?"


(A young boy speaking to his counselor at Forest Home.)

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
"I am soooo BADASS!"

"I guess that depends on how you define badass."

"I am the definition of badass. I am badass like God is love."

"You're so nutty."

(A college boy talking with a girl outside Azusa Pacific University's Felix Event Center)

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
"I just love birds, don't you?"

"Yeah, I own a hawk."

"Really?!?! You own a hawk?"

"Yeah, a hawk. It's beautiful."

(Two Azusa Pacific University Students between bouts of "making out" in a lounge outside of the Theological Library)

*editors note: I think he was lying about the hawk.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
"Interesting, interesting, interesting... she's always talking about how it's interesting, but is it meaningful? Life's too short for just interesting, you know?"

(Two girls at Azusa Pacific University in conversation as they walked past the Felix Event Center as class let out.)

Monday, March 16, 2009


I know you guys like being kept current on the status of my footwear. In the last installment of this recurring feature I bought a new pair of kicks at Target for $20.00. I felt a little funny wearing "skater shoes," but price trumps pride in this arena.
As you can see they still look fine.
...but they're not.
I have already worn a hole through the sole, and they are now uncomfortable to walk in. They just don't make shoes like they used to. I approach buying shoes with the mentality that this pair will be in the lineup for years (I stretched the dexters out for 14 years), but these might be the worst shoes I have ever purchased. They've been in my possession for just barely two months. This is the second pair that I have bought from Target that failed to last me through a full year. I guess you really do get what you pay for. I think the next pair I purchase will be pricier and of better quality.
I'm not going to throw them away yet. I'll let you know when I do though. They deserve to be thrown away, but that would just be letting Target win. I'm gonna wear 'em out of spite! I'll let you know when I do throw them away though because I know you want to be kept abreast of such things.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


According to Gallup, the six states that comprise New England rank among the ten least religious states in the country. Guess which state gets the dubious honor of being the least religious... that's right, Vermont. Gallup made no mention of which states are the most lukewarm.


Carol Palmer found this picture, as well as some others while going through her stuff. She thinks they were taken in Dekalb, IL, but is not certain. Nobody seems to know who the woman is holding lil' Barry Joe.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Just foul!


I asked Christ into my heart at a Billy Graham crusade in Washington D.C.- of course, I was low hanging fruit, thanks to my parents' husbandry, but nonetheless I will always remember the good Doctor in a special light.


Saturday, March 07, 2009


After Kick achieved the top of the hill above Lavallee road he turned west and followed the high ground through woods that were predominantly comprised of hickories. The thin soil at the top of the ridge was interrupted regularly by shale ledges, which broke up the dense forest and allowed sunshine to pour in. Occasionally the woods would thin enough to afford Kick a view of the distant lake, and at times he thought he could hear a stream somewhere to his right.

Kick felt awful. He staggered along through the woods, stopping frequently to rest with his head between his hands. He had a splitting headache, he looked shaky and he was sweating profusely. Suddenly he stopped, bent over, and vomited. With a groan Kick wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his sweater before continuing in a westerly direction.

After another ten minutes of making his way through the woods he stumbled out into a clearing. On the far side of the clearing juxtaposed against the backdrop of the woods was a fireplace and chimney. The sunken foundation of a house which had once been attached to it could be traced underneath the accumulated forest litter. Pine needles and leaves had softened its lines over the quiet years, but it was obvious that a house approximately twenty-five by thirty feet had stood on the spot. A collection of forgotten apple trees stood off to one side testifying to the fact that someone, long ago, had made an attempt to make a home out of the spot. Kick crossed the clearing and examined the fireplace more closely. It had been constructed carefully out of cut-stone. The fireplace was unusually large- maybe five feet wide, three feet tall, and three feet deep.

With his hand, Kick brushed away the accumulated layers of damp leaves until he revealed the charcoal remnants of the last fire that had graced the hearth. Lying flat on his back he looked up through the chimney. A bulge near the top, which Kick assumed to be a bee hive, obscured the opening. Reaching high up into the chimney he ran his hand carefully along the smooth cut-stone surfaces until he felt a metal plate. With his hand, Kick traced the plate which had a rectangular shape. In one corner there was a small semicircular notch just large enough to get a finger into. He hooked his finger behind the plate and gave a tug. A drawer slid out from the wall of the fireplace, and being surprised by its weight, he was unable to catch it before it slammed into his head, knocking him unconscious.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009


The stately buck
Was once a fawn,
The frog-
A tadpole in a pond,
What was a seed
Is now a tree,
When you grow up
What will you be?


After the ultrasound we needed to kill some time before dinner so we drove the kids over to a fountain that Sarah knew of in nearby Cathedral City. It was amazing! The entire fountain was purposefully designed to be climbed on by kids with conveniently placed rocks, handholds, and places to sit. It was even surrounded by a springy rubber ground covering that you sometimes find at playgrounds. The kids loved getting wet, climbing the fountain, and running around in the desert heat. I would have loved this fountain as a kid. It really is a poor man's water park.

This lizard was hemorrhaging alarming amounts of water.

The decision to visit the fountain was a spontaneous one, and as such we hadn't packed Bowden a change of vestments. We had a change of clothes on hand for Lucy and Jack because they are still prone to accidents, but Bowden had to make do with a pair of Lucy's pink sweatpants. It was a tad emasculating perhaps, but he bore it all with typical bonhommie.

I tied his pants to the roof of the van so they would dry out as we drove around in the desert air.


Sunday, March 01, 2009


I forget the name of the town. I think it started with a "B," but who can remember? A dusty main street ran silently between store fronts, which had either long-since closed their doors or were languishing in the forgotten town. Reminders of more prosperous times were everywhere. Gas stations stood vacant with broken windows and shaggy weeds sprouting from cracks in their parking lots. The price of gas from five years prior, faded yellow by the sun, was still posted on the sign above the pumps. Parking meters along the street bore mute testimony to the fact that there used to be "too many" cars. I needed a bathroom and after a few mintues rolling down main street I pulled up in front of a promising pharmacy. I say promising because the door stood open and there was another car parked out front. A boy sat in a folding chair in the shade of the building, drinking a coke and watching the sun-drenched street. I asked him if there was a public restroom in the pharmacy and he said that there was. I walked inside and the overeager proprietor showed me the restroom. With a quick "thank you" and a smile I slid inside. As I sat on the toilet I made up my mind that I would make a purchase. There was nothing I needed. This would be more of a philanthropic gesture than anything else. The possibilities ran through my head- a pack of gum or some hard candies would be cheap, maybe a soda or a magazine. I didn't intend to spend much, just enough to save face and pay a sort of homage to the pervasively desperate atmosphere of the place. After exiting the bathroom, I selected a coke from the cooler and a pack of gum from a display next to the register. As he rang me up I commented "This is a nice quiet town you've got here."

He sighed and said, "You wouldn't know it now, but it used to be a busy little spot."

"Oh yeah? What happened?" I asked.

"Well, before they built the interstate up there all the traffic used to come right down main street. There aren't too many visitors that come this way any more."

"Well, hang in there," I said, and with that I got back in my car and drove back up onto the interstate.