Sunday, July 26, 2015


I hate surprises.

I especially hate surprises that involve time, work, and expense.

I talked with my pharmacists about whether my prescriptions would last until I until I was on my new  work insurance. If you don't live in the U.S. you may not understand what a big deal that is. He assured me that I had a 3 month supply of prescriptions.

Anyway, last weekend I called to have my prescription filled and found that, though I had refills, the prescription itself, had expired. I only had a few days of two very important medications. I didn't have a doctor or the money to pay the out-of-pocket expense and prescriptions.

How did I set up a doctor's visit during my work hours? There were layers upon layers of complications.

I told myself that none of this was a surprise to God. I prayed for him to work it out. I fully intended to leave all the worry behind and trust the details to Him.

But Sunday night I couldn't go to sleep. I kept trying to work out the details in my mind. I would get up and, at 7:00 call the Church Health Center (a clinic where I could see a doctor on a sliding fee). Hopefully they would agree to take me as a patient. I would see what appointments were available and talk to my boss about getting off work for the visit.

Sleep evaded me. I really trusted God, but I couldn't stop the worry.

In the end, all the pieces fell together. I was able to see the doctor and she gave me a four months supply of prescriptions--long enough for me to get on my new insurance program.

Why did I worry? I don't really know. I knew things would work out. Maybe I feared the way they would work out.

Like I said, I hate surprises.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Have you ever noticed how you can read a passage in the Bible at one time, then read the same story years later and notice something new? I got a little insight into that last week. My Sunday school teacher, Al, tried an interesting experiment on us.

Al is always researching and read about an experiment a missionary conducted. The missionary notice that Americans, usually left out a specific fact from a very common Bible story. Al tried the experiment on us and we acted just as anticipated.

We were each asked to summarize the Parable of the Prodigal Son, a story we were familiar with, Luke 15:11-32. The story is about a wealthy man and his 2 sons. The youngest wants his share of the inheritance before his father is death. He leaves the family and lives lavishly until he runs out of money. He returns to beg his father to work as a servant, but the father is so happy to see the son that he has a celebration. The faithful brother is jealous of the father's attention, but the father reassures him and explains that they should all rejoice when the prodigal returns.

As we each retold the story, Al smiled and we knew something was up. When it was over Al explained that most Americans leave out one fact to the story that people in many other countries find very important. The Bible says that there was a famine in the land.None of us remembered that fact but it is clear in Luke 15:14. We all looked it up.

It seems that older Americans that have experienced the Dust Bowl Era, do pick up on the verse about the famine, but if we haven't experienced one, that doesn't seem like a significant detail.

I guess that tells a lot about how we read the Bible. Things we've experienced do seem to jump out at us.

The older I get, the more relevant the Bible seems. I've had more life experiments.

Friday, July 3, 2015


I have been fearing lately that my grandchildren won't know the America that I knew. I realize that each generation can say that, but Americans used to be known for their rugged individualism. That was what caused them to demand their independence from Great Britain. It was what helped the pioneers cross deserts and survive harsh climates. It was what helped my grandmother raise 8 children during The Great Depression.

Along with individualism there was always hope, hope that a person's children would have a better life than they had. Each generation believed their child would have a more improved life than theirs.

Now things seem a little different. Many people seem less interested in independence and less hopeful about the future. Many don't seem interested in improving their lives at all.

This is really sounding like a downer of an Independence Day post, but I know tides can change. I'm old enough that I've watched the tides change before. I remember the flags flying after 9-11. I remember seeing the church pews filling with people looking for comfort after that disaster.

I hope we will have a more positive event that brings us together, next time. I look forward to the day when our leadership will encourage unity with the country.

It's not too late.