A river runs north, by Krista Stevens

A Beautiful Story of Resilience

Breast Cancer Conscript

May 1 is a day of seduction.
Without fail, it arrives cloudless and sunny, warm and fragrant, casting off the vestiges of a cruel winter.  Fear? Toss it out the window. Success is an open road looking for someone to tear it up.

I remember feeling that way 10 years ago, before the Nishisakawick Creek coughed up its sedge to form an island where its mouth meets the Delaware River. Back then there were a few scant sycamore trees that jutted up from the river, catching dead leaves and twigs in the rapid flow. There were no signs that the island would one day block the creek’s entrance, forcing the river to flow up instead of down. Had I seen it, I tell myself, I would have known.

But the truth is, we never really know life’s irony until it stares back at us from the page. And this story is…

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Grief in Light of the Cross (Thanks, Emma)

We don’t always know when we’re grieving. Perhaps, sometimes grief can come gently as it brutally breaks your heart. • If I’m being truthful, grief has been a daily battle this past year. It’s been a year of the kind of grief that doesn’t come as a shock, but is more like a dull throbbing–constant […]

via Grief in Light of the Cross — Emma Schramm

A Tribute to “Little” People

When I was still a green and scrawny teenager attending a small church in a little Missouri village there was a little old lady whom I will never forget.  I called her simply “Grandma Bales” and she was one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever known.  Grandma Bales, so far as I knew, never had her name in the headlines.  She wasn’t a “famous” person, a “star”, or a politician.  But Grandma Bales knew how to be an encouragement to this little nobody guy … namely me.  Her kind smile and her words were uplifting to a certain teenage kid at a time when he really needed it.

I still think of Grandma Bales and her encouragement, even today.  I would not be where I am without people like her.  She was one of many along my pathway of life who has helped to lift me up and guide my path toward Hope.  So here is my small tribute to one of several “little” people, otherwise perhaps unknown, who help us all with a kind or encouraging word or gesture.  You weren’t my physical grandma, Grandma Bales, but here’s to you;  you live in my heart to this day.

Reflections on Death

“All mankind is of one Author, and is one volume; when one Man dies, one Chapter is not torne out of the booke, but translated into a better language; and every Chapter must be so translated. God emploies several translators: some peeces are translated by age, some by sicknesse, some by warre, some by justice; but Gods hand is in every translation; and his hand shall binde up all our scattered leaves againe, for that Librarie where every booke shall lie open to one another.”—John Donne (1573– 1631)

Bayly, Joe. The View from a Hearse (Kindle Locations 80-83). Warhorn Publishing. Kindle Edition.

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body….”   —  I Cor. 15:42 – 44 (NIV)

“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.”   — Psalm 116:15   (NIV)

““Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”  — John 5:24 (NIV)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”   — Eph. 3:20 – 21 (NIV)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”   –2 Peter 3:9  (NIV)

“We do not bury our dead. We plant them. They will blossom again.”  R.C. Sproul, Jr.


Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. - Lao Tzu

“No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good.”    — Josh McDowell

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.”    Psalm 23  (NIV)

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Berlinski on The Devil’s Delusion

“Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”
David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

I have lived many years in this Country, but I never thought I would live to see the day when the heading above would be flipped on its head.  Alas, it appears now that such a time is coming upon us.  We are now, on a daily basis, reading of more and more citizens who are being more or less convicted and “lynched” on the basis of allegations, some of which ostensibly happened years, or even decades ago.  Not only is the man publicly thrashed, but his life, along with his family, forever tarnished.

I am well aware that some are, no doubt, guilty, and that we do, in fact, have some pretty nasty, sexually “inappropriate” things occurring  Morally speaking, I believe that we in this Country have a big moral mess to clean up.  By now the roots go deeply into our society.  These people who are being publicly destroyed may or may not be guilty. But it is just flat wrong, and extremely worrisome when a person’s life can be so destroyed on the basis of something that someone now alleges he did many years ago.