Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy All Day Long

"Three things I do every morning so I will be happy all day long. The first is to affirm the reality of Jesus Christ and to thank Him for His lordship. The second is to call to mind the reality of Satan, who will seek throughout the day to make me a miserable contradiction of evident joy. Third, I call to mind the gifts that are mine in Christ. If I live each day faithful to my gifts, developing and improving them, I find I am, indeed, a happy person. If I am sloppy and careless in developing my gifts, I find a predictable negativity fixing itself into my life." - Calvin Miller, "The Taste of Joy"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fathers and Sons

I'm looking forward to Father's Day this year, more than usual I guess. Our oldest son, Sam, has been overseas finishing his studies and will be coming home Monday, so we are excited to see him. He says he's hungry for some barbeque, not one of England's specialties, so I'll fire up the grill and cook up something tasty to welcome him home.

Sam was born just a few weeks before my father died of cancer, so Father's Day always pulls my thoughts both directions, as a son and a dad. Somewhere I have a picture of my dad in his hospital bed holding our little newborn baby boy, but I can't hardly bring myself to look at it. My kids would have loved their Grandpa Hill, and he would have been wonderful part of their lives. My mother and I try to help our kids know their Grandpa through our stories and memories, but it still seems like a poor substitute for the man himself.

Each of these past twenty-one Father's Days has brought its own memories and reflections for me, maybe best summed up in these words from a couple of years ago: In the Shadow of the Man

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Prayer of the Persecuted

Who wrote the following prayer? No one knows. It was scrawled on a scrap of paper and placed inside the clothing of a child who was killed at Ravensbruck, a concentration camp where the Nazis killed thousands of innocent people. Whoever wrote the prayer may have died in the same gas chamber as the child.

"O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, 
    but also those of ill will.
But, do not remember all of the suffering 
    they have inflicted on upon us:
Instead remember the fruits we have borne 
    because of this suffering -
our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, 
    our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble.
When our persecutors come to be judged by you, 
    let all of these fruits that we have borne 
    be their forgiveness."