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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Soil of American Dreams

A few weeks ago I had the urge to remove six trees from around our deck so we could use the space to build a raised garden. I didn't lay out a plan beforehand; except that I wanted to finish. And the best way to get finished is to get started. So, I grabbed my saw and started cutting the trees down.  One By One They Fell.  The girls helped me carry the branches to a burn pile and I cut the big branches into firewood. I had stage one nearing completion in less than 90 minutes. This was easy. All in a nights work. 

The first tree wasn't that big really, so I was sure it wouldn't be too hard to dig out the stump. I figured I could just grab a shovel and a hoe, apply some manpower, and have this project knocked out by sundown.  I was wrong.  These particular trees were well rooted; some roots shooting to the left and others to the right; some had grown straight down. Each tree had a taproot buried deep below the surface and directly on the bottom on the stump. I was amazed at the …

Crying in Empty Parking Lots ... Confessions of a Recovering Critic

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

It was a snowy night in January; Lindsay and I were in the middle of a huge fight in the car on our way to small group. The past 9 months had been leading up to this – I had not been myself for quite some time. We both knew i…

The Art of Pretense: Good Friends Are Hard to Find

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island I have been taught over and over again -- through books and lectures, commercials and magazines, trials and errors -- that I need to be perceived as something I am not and will never be. And so has everyone else. I am quite sure most have an incomplete picture of who I really am; and I assume as much is true of other people. In the end, I guess I fear that no one is really looking for friends – only fans. Perhaps this is why many of my friendships are old; they were forged in the years before I learned the art of pretense. I resonate with Shakespeare who said, “words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find”. Faithfulness i…