Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, January 15, 2016


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

From the day Ernie came to live with our daughter and her family, he has always liked me best. Part of it, of course, is that he can manipulate me into anything he wants. He is small and black, half shi-poo and half poodle. When I walk in, he just gets excited. We used to live only a mile away from each other and saw each other often, but he got excited every time. Then we moved away. Eight months later we returned for a visit. Ernie went crazy when he saw me. But that was nothing compared to when we came back the next day. He was literally walking on air when he saw me. “He came back! He came back!” It was just almost more than his little heart could take.

When I’m around he ignores the people who actually do all the work of caring for him. It’s almost embarrassing. I enjoy it, anyway. It’s nice to have someone who gets excited when you show up.

When grandson Joe was in kindergarten, he went to a Saturday program at the public library. When Joe showed up one afternoon, the librarian was working with the kids who had already arrived. She later told our daughter that one little girl lit up when she saw him and said, “Here comes Joe Kennedy. Things are looking up.” It’s nice to have someone who gets excited when you show up.

Our granddaughter, Brigid, and Bill Verrette have been thick as thieves ever since they worked together in Vacation Bible School when Brigid was in 8th grade. Bill is an extremely successful businessman and very classy elderly gentleman. Neither of those keep him from doing trench work at church, like teaching the pre-school class at VBS, as long as he has someone with younger legs, like Brigid, to chase down wayward pre-school scholars.

Brigid is off at college now. Bill and I were chatting before the Christmas eve service. Suddenly, his face lit up, and he said, “Here comes trouble.” Brigid was coming through the door. Bill literally pushed me aside to go hug her. It’s nice to have someone who gets excited when you show up.

I think maybe that is why God created humans. It’s nice to have someone who gets excited when you show up.

John Robert McFarland

I tweet as yooper1721.

They called them heroes. They said, “Thank you for your service.” 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 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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