Sunday, June 17, 2012


There are lots of fathers here today:  


That's a lot for us. 

They are all very different, but they are all good fathers.

Special things have been prepared for them, but I don't know what they are.

When I said to the girls, "What should we do for Father's Day?" I was told that Jay is their father and it's all taken care of. 

Sometimes, it's nice to be admonished.

I have baked beans in the oven and a ham ready to put in. My sister is bringing deviled eggs and homemade ice cream. 

One father will preach the sermon this morning. Many people will not know him. Some will remember him as a boy running through the church in red high top tennis shoes. 

The most important thing for a father is to know deeply of the First Father and to honor Him.

The Great Creator of all things could think of us in any way He choses.

But, He choses to be a Father.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Manners Matter

Some days all I really want is a kind word.
We live in a world that most often focuses self-ward, not outward; and regular manners are regarded as old fashion, silly, purposeless.
Yesterday, we had a tea party. And, if one is to have a proper tea party, there is a certain protocol to follow. The girls wore dresses, as they often do, and Mel washed their hair and made it “very fancy.” 
As I baked cookies, I considered the logistics of saving my Lenox butterfly china while tea partying with four pre-schoolers.
Setting up our table with a Christmas tablecloth on the front porch, Flora said, “This table will be beautiful because this is red.”
And as children and mothers consumed tea, Tang, and nearly four-dozen cookies, we put cloth napkins on our laps and dabbed chocolate from our faces. We even spoke a little French with “S’il vous plait” and “Merci.”

I have shared tea with all my granddaughters and their mothers from tea on the porch to tea at the National Gallery in London. We speak softly, napkins on laps, but—most importantly—we just enjoy being together.

But, it’s rarely tea-time best behavior when we interact with most people.
I had a student this past school year who said, “Thank you, Mrs. Borkert” as he filed past my desk and out the door at the close of every school day. It took me so by surprise at the beginning of the year that I could hardly keep from replying, “You talking to me?” in response.
But, as the days, weeks, and months played out, many of us learned the significance of a simple, kind word.
Some days all I really want is a kind word.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Preparing a Place

Today we’re preparing for our son and his family to arrive from Missouri. They are on the road as I write. There are always last minute things to do when getting a home ready for family, those people most dearest to us. 

And after the hailstorms of the last two nights, there was even a little more than what I’d anticipated, such as having the front downstairs windows to clean that I’ve put off until storms were no longer in the forecast.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Wipe the windows,
Clean the bathroom on the main floor,
Put avocadoes on grocery list—
“And if I go and prepare a place for you,”
It’s not just the making of beds with clean sheets and planning good food (though I don’t mind doing those things), it’s the little, special things—the trinkets I’ve picked up and Jay’s “fun for kids” things he has around the yard that’s a joy because we love to see the delight on their faces.  

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
But, best of all is hearing their voices: “Granny! Grandpa!”
“I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Come Home and Find Rest

It’s amazing how so much that took so long to grow and make can be so utterly destroyed in an hour’s time.

Jay walks about the yard, surveying the damage.  All—broken, stripped, flattened before the water and hail—2 days before the children and grandchildren start coming home.
Just when you want something to work out, it doesn’t. And no matter how we hope, we pray, we wish on every star—it just isn’t going to happen. It lies destroyed like soppy green leaves that’ll never turn sun to life again.
It’s time to come home—
Jay, heavy stepping, comes in. “The hostas are shredded. It’ll be a wonder if they’ll even live.”

Do you wonder about living? Do you wonder if you’ll even live—
There will be no grape juice-making this fall. But those deeply rooted vines will put out more leaves.
That old vine has withstood hailstorms before.
By July, though mainly grapeless, there will be broad leaves shading the patio—
Roots deep, it’ll draw strength, branches spread out before a warming sun.
It will bear fruit as before. I know it. I have seen it.

And though we’re heartsick this day—
Though it won’t be like we planned or hoped—
It’s still good to come home.
Home to Love—like a tree planted by the Waters—the waters of the Word that grow us deep, that makes new leaves to cover an old patio over again.
And there will be fruit, good fruit, because God is working good.
Come home—and find rest.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)
There is no question of our weakness. Whether entangled by sin or praying for one who is--
We are all weak.
Yet, Paul states when we’re weak, that’s when we’re strong. 
Maybe it’s when we are truly at a loss—
When there is nothing we can do because we don’t have the strength or the power. 
When all is out of control in the depths of confusion—wondering how on earth we are who we are and what we are—
Then, it is time to open empty hands to Heaven and proclaim, “God, I am weak; if you do not help me, no one can.”
No one else has the power to lift us, 
to cleanse us, 
to comfort us and give us peace.
And it’s when we realize that we are truly weak and cry out to God—

Then, and only then, 
we are strong.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday Morning Thoughts

I was peering behind the back of a chest of drawers. The lid on the floor next to the wall was tipped up, the liquid spilled out. And I heard someone say (or thought it to myself): “Ant poison is like sin.”
My parents’ house, where I grew up was built on a slab, and I remember my mother’s constant war with the ants. The houses had been built on what had once been interminable Illinois corn fields, and my mother decided that the ants just weren’t willing to give over their turf.
Once our little puppy swiped his paw under the chest of drawers and licked off the poison, which brought on a night of worry and sympathy from us all until he fought off the poison and survived. 
I think that might have been the end of setting out liquid bait.

Sin is like ant poison. 
It fills our hearts and cracks our world.

My daughter said to 4-year-old Callie:
“Tell me about this picture.”
“It’s a cup with bleed in it.”
"It’s a cup with bleed in it.
Remember at Easter we talked about bleed in the cup?”

 Ant poison is like sin.
And all that can be done with sin is to pour it out at the foot of the cross so Jesus’ blood can cover it over.

"Ant poison is like sin."
It was a strange dream—or vision—to awake to as the sun filtered through the fabric blinds.
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn. 6:63)