Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

This has been the summer of my disconcert.

Bloomington, Indiana has so many concerts. Concerts in the park. Concerts at the IU auditorium. Concerts indoors, concerts outdoors. I love concerts, and I fully intended to go to them all. Why move to a place of concerts only to be disconcerted?

Life got in the way. There is so much to do when you move, from getting the roof leak fixed to a new driver’s license to convincing the water department that you really did pay the bill. It’s fall, and classes have started, and I have not been to a single concert.

So my life is a failure. The move was for naught. I am disconcerted.

Well, not exactly. We have met delightful new friends. We have seen delightful old friends and family members we haven’t seen for a long time. We have heard some marvelous preaching. We have been to a great library. We saw a game at The Great American Ballpark. We have been surrounded every day by trees and flowers in their fullness.

Just because the summer was not what I intended or anticipated, it was still mine. Life does not have to be what we planned for it to be good. The coming time may be the winter of my disconcert, too, but it will still be mine, and that is a gift.

John Robert McFarland

I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

I tweet as yooper1721.

They called them heroes. Then forgot about them. Joe Kirk lost a leg. Lonnie Blifield lost his eyes. Victoria Roundtree lost her skin. “Zan” Zander lost his mind. Four homeless and hopeless Iraqistan VETS who accidentally end up living together on an old school bus. With nowhere to go, and nothing else to do, they lurch from one VAMC to another, getting no help because, like the thousands of other Iraqistan VETS who are homeless, unemployed, and suicidal, they do not trust the system and refuse to “come inside.” After another fruitless stop, at the VAMC in Iron Mountain, Michigan, a doctor is found dead, and the VETS are accused of his murder. Distrustful, strangers to America, to each other, and even to themselves, they must become a unit to learn who really murdered the doctor, so that they can be free. In doing so, they uncover far more, about themselves and about their country, than they dared even to imagine. Available from your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Black Opal Books, and almost any place else that sells books. $12.99 for paperback and $3.99 for Kindle and other ebooks.

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