Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


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

Each Monday evening during basketball season, Helen and I eat supper with Terri Moren and Tom Crean, the women’s and men’s basketball coaches at Indiana University. There are 40 to 60 others folks there, too. It is the occasion of their radio show, hosted by Greg Murray, for Moren, and Don Fischer, for Crean.

Moren was hired only in August last year, just before the season started, with the abrupt departure of her predecessor. After just two years at IU’s helm, she is Coach of the Year in the B1G [Big 10]. Crean took a group that “couldn’t guard a chair,” in Dan Dakich’s phrase, to the number 11 team in the country as I write this, and an unshared and undisputed B1G championship. Those are good credentials. They know what they are talking about.

One of the things they talk about, often, is making the opposing offense “uncomfortable.” You don’t have to knock them down, throw an elbow, talk trash, but you have to “disrupt” them, which means making it hard for them to do what they want. If they want to “pass into the paint,” you get into the passing lanes. If they want to get rebounds, you block out. If they want to run a weave, you “hedge and recover.”

There are offensive people in our society. They say and do offensive things. If we let them get comfortable, they will carry the day. So we need to make them uncomfortable, disrupt their plays, get into their talking lanes, block them out. We don’t have to knock them down or talk trash, but we do have to disrupt them, make them uncomfortable, not let anyone think it is okay to be offensive.

There are offensive people inside of me. They say and do offensive things. If I let them get comfortable, they make me into someone who is not me. I have to disrupt them, block them out, not let them get comfortable in there.

I’m ready, Coach. Put me in.


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. $12.99 for paperback, and $3.99 for ebook. Free if you can get your library to buy one.

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