Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, November 2, 2015


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

Larry Berry always starts the announcements period at church with a story about Bob. No one knows who Bob is, but the first word of the story is always, “Bob…” with a little pause. Helen says she starts to laugh right then, just from the way Larry says, “Bob…”

Yesterday, it was “Bob… was a farmer. One day he lost his Bible. He looked all over the farm for his Bible, in the fields in the barn, everywhere, but he could not find it. He was bereft. Then a deer showed up at his door with the Bible in its mouth. Bob grabbed the Bible and shouted, “It’s a miracle.” The deer shrugged and said, “It was easy. Your name’s on the front cover.”

I have written before about my first Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Darringer. I don’t think she had a first name. Even her husband called her “Mrs. Darringer.” When I was about eight years old, she gave me a New Testament for Christmas, King James Version, red letter edition, one of those fat little books about two inches wide and three inches high and four inches thick. In it she wrote, “Johney McFarland, from Mrs. Darringer.”

My name was in the book, in the Bible story! Witnessed and testified by the name of the one person I knew who had the authority to put it there and keep it there.

Whenever I’m lost, I don’t have to worry, because I know whoever finds me can return me to where I belong, in God’s story, because my name is in the book, along with Mrs. Darringer’s.

Don’t worry if you’re lost. You’ll be found. Your name is in the story.

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.

My new novel is VETS, about four homeless Iraqistan veterans accused of murdering a VA doctor, is available from your local independent book store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, Books-A-Million, Black Opal Books, and almost any place else that sells books. $8.49 or $12.99 for paperback, according to which site you look at, and $3.99 for Kindle. Free if you can get your library to buy one.

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