Thursday, July 26, 2018


Greetings from Camp Cedaredge!  Once again, happenings at camp have inspired a devotional chapter.  If you have a tendency to live by your emotions, this one's for you:

Emotions in Motion

How emotional are you?  My kids give me a hard time because I tear up at movies.  I admit it, I enjoy experiencing the full gamut of emotions, especially joy to the point of tears.  Even so, I firmly believe that important decisions should be made as separate from the influence of emotion as possible.  For that reason, I loved last night’s service at the youth camp I am at this week.

Ben, this week’s main speaker, explained his topic well.  He showed scriptures that supported what he was saying and brought his message down to the point where he asked the students to make a decision.  Then he did something unique.

In our denomination and others like it, it is common to bring services to an emotional peak where people will make decisions amid music and tears.  It can be an experience to remember.  Last night, Ben asked the worship band not to play while students made decisions.  He did not want their decisions based on hype.  I am certain that those decisions were a result of Holy Spirit prompting and student’s responding with their minds fully engaged.  As a result, I believe that those choices will follow them the rest of their lives, not just until they get home.

This does not just apply to spiritual matters.  My wife and I recently looked at a new home.  It was beautiful and in a great location.  That evening, we were dreaming of what life could be like there.  Still, we knew that we had to give ourselves time to consider all the implications.  We did not buy that house.  It will go to someone else who will enjoy its beauty and comfort.  And we are confident that we are better off for making the decision to pass it up. 

Do you jump into things because they feel good?  Do you avoid things because they might hurt?  Would it make a difference if we made decisions based on facts instead of emotion?  Give it a try.  I’ll bet that would be a good decision.

                Read Judges 11:29-34

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Early Riser

I am at youth camp this week and find myself with one of few early risers.  So, naturally, I had to write about it.  Here's today's devo from "365 Super Short Stories."

Early Riser
I don’t know when I became a morning person.  Today I am at a youth camp helping in the auditorium for the week.  It is about 6:30 in the morning and I have an hour to kill, even though I finished my quiet time an hour ago.  The camp is coming alive with the sounds of youthful early risers, though I have yet to see another adult.

I used to be among the majority who liked to sleep as long as possible.  Perhaps it was the early morning walks on the beach when I lived in Santa Cruz.  Maybe it is the quiet of the house when no one else is awake.  Or it may just be the still small voice of God that comes through so much clearer in the quiet of the morning.  What ever it is, I have a hard time sleeping past six now.

I think my son may be on to something.  Being on the autism spectrum, he avoids loud noise and hectic situations.  His most comfortable place is in his room.  He spends much of his time mastering games for which I struggle to grasp the basics.  He even manages to tune out the sometimes-wild play of his sisters.

Yes, it makes me sad that he cannot handle the craziness of camp to come and enjoy the awesome aspects of it, but he finds his joy in peace.  We can all use a little of that.  So, pardon me while I enjoy a little more of that while I bask in the quiet of an empty auditorium.  Perhaps you can find a little quiet spot yourself.
             Read Luke 4:42

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Beneath the Surface

     I finally got around to writing another entry for my devotion book 365 Super Short Stories.  It has been a hot exhausting day working on our sunroom floor.  I was amused to find a clip from the sunroom security camera of me finishing the underlayment (see screen shot).  I thought you might enjoy a little peek into my “sweat equity” investment (I was sweating profusely to the point that my sweat was mixing with the leveling mix).  I hope you enjoy.  Feel free to comment with any amusing tales of when you failed to look beneath the surface.

                                                       Beneath the Surface

     I am currently rewriting the beginning of book 2 of the Wil Clarey series.  I am struggling with how to word a conversation between Wil’s mom and a helpful couple while they are on the road.  Through it all, Wil is staying silent (except in that he reports the conversation to the reader).  His thoughts on the subject (whether or not someone with Asperger’s needs healing) are eloquent despite the fact that he says nothing out loud.

     Oddly, that fact came to the surface of my mind as I was repairing the floor of our sunroom today.  I had thought that the floor was inadequately supported resulting in that feeling that we were going to fall through the floor every time we stepped out of the house into the sunroom.  Why would they not put an extra joist right where you step onto it.  After removing the floor in that section, I found out why.

     The house was built with a concrete porch so there was no room for a joist.  The floor was supported with plywood stacked on the concrete porch which had subsided about an inch and a half.  That fact made for a much easier repair than I thought (nothing was rotten).

     How many times do we make assumptions based upon what we see on the surface?  The helpful couple in the book saw Wil exhibit a couple of autistic traits and assumed he was broken.  Honestly, I often see something of mine broken or missing and assume one of the kids did it.  Do you jump to conclusions before you know the whole story?  Welcome to the club.  Let’s try to get ourselves out of that club.

Read John 7:24