left to right: Martin, Director of Tauernhof, Richard, Charlie, board member of Tauernhof. “Stay a little longer” my friend Martin invited from Austria over FaceTime last August as I was planning my teaching trip for December. “We’re dedicating the new building the weekend after you finish teaching. So you should stay for that.” And so it was this past Sunday, (12.9.18) sitting in a marvelous new building, I was eking out enough understanding of German to not only celebrate
The show has an adopted child in the family – I’m an adopted child in my family. The sister among the siblings struggles with weight – my sister struggled with her weight. The dad in the story dies during the adopted son’s senior year in high school – my dad died my senior year in high school. The death of the dad overwhelms the mom. The death of my dad overwhelmed my mom. It just goes on and on, so that in last night’s episode, when the son who got accepted to an exclusive
1. Coffee. Always first: Coffee 2. Bible reading while drinking the first cup. 3. Meditation (from the Bible reading) 4. Writing in the journal with the second cup. 5. Check my to do list. The to-do list is a document somewhere in the cloud, and every time I open it, this shows up: MISSION STATEMENT: RD uses his gifts of teaching, catalytic vision, and leadership to serve and bless people by inviting them to wholeness, and demonstrating through both teaching and living, h
Born in Germany and educated both there and at Oxford, Delmer was uniquely qualified to have a foot in both German and British culture, a trait which, during the 30’s caused both nations to accuse him of being “in service of the enemy”. By 1940, however, he was recruited by the British Government to organize ‘black propoganda.’ He created several fake German radio stations broadcast by short-wave from England into Germany. They were a mixture of truth and lies – enough tr
Here’s a free chapter for all those folks you know in your lives who have walked the road of success for a bit of distance and are both gratified and weary, cherishing what’s happened so far, but unclear as to what should happen next. If you know such people, please share this chapter with them on your social media. For me, sharing this isn’t about promoting my new book of which this is a part – it’s about helping people navigate the waters of career, creativity, family, an
“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all” is how Helen Keller put it. She’s was onto something, surely. When Dave Matthews mused about the “Ants Marching” in his masterful music some years ago, it seemed to me he was pondering a sort of inevitable decay into a ritual of breakfast, commute, work, commute, supper, exhaustion, repeat. There are surely forces at work in the systems that are western civilization contributing to this dismal picture. However, I
My wife and I celebrated 38 years of married life yesterday. Here are 38 thoughts on what’s contributed to our marriage not just surviving, but thriving. Enjoy, and please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section. Thanks to all of you who’ve walked with us over various sections of our path! still smiling after 38 years of journeying together 1. we had specific reasons for marrying each other, and through times of difficulty, it’s helped to remember those
Before burning season is over, though, we’re already on the prowl for new wood for the next season. It must be found, cut into pieces small enough for hauling, hauled, unloaded, cut, split, stacked to dry,. All this is as good as, maybe better than, a cross fit workout. Then, once the holzhausens are in the shadows, the wood will be moved under the house to await its contribution as family warmth while the snow falls. Fire in the mountains has a beautiful rhythm, all by i
While you drink your tea (TEA!!! ugh), you scan your schedule and realize you have three difficult meetings today and then a notification hits your phone for a fourth, slated for that time you were planning a stress relieving run. The traffic getting in is ridiculous, and by the time you arrive at work, you can only think of one thing: the weekend. You grit your teeth and prepare to endure another day in the trenches, just hanging on until you can breathe again. Let’s ho
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me. Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. from Rainier Rilke’s “Book of Hours” the church I lead will host a “longest night” service. It’s offered because behind all the
I’m 19 and a good friend had landed the part of Jesus in Godspell, so he invites me to see him on opening night. It’s been two years since my dad has died, and this winter of my 19th year is the winter of my discontent. I’m lonely, because high school’s over and my cadre of friends have scattered. My future’s radically uncertain as I’ve applied for admittance to architecture school, but only one in six students will get in. Since my self confidence is in the toilet, I’m c
It was just over a year ago that my mom-in-law came to visit, and some health matters made it clear it would be best for her to stay with us. This set in motion a series of events that led to my wife and I moving east of Seattle a bit, up into the mountains, where we’d planned to move eventually anyway. The self contained apartment has become my mom-in-law’s home, and she’s pure delight to have with us. We’ve rented a tiny place next to the church in the city so I can skip
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” The Preacher in Ecclesiastes I’m sure you’ve been there. You want something to be different in your life. Maybe it’s a vocational success you’re after, or a new house, a remodel, a spouse, (a remodel of a spouse? nope), a successful and meaningful retirement. Or you want things to be different in the world because the racism, injustice, human trafficking, environmental destruction, or whatever it is for you, jus
It’s our last hike, the end of our forty days trekking through the Alps together. I’ll begin teaching next week and thinking about re-entry to life in Seattle, while my wife will spend the weekend with friends, retrieving sheep from the high Alps in anticipation of upcoming snows. Our final trek will take us to Guttenberghaus, significant for its beauty, and its proximity to the Torchbearer Bible school where I teach because I can see this hut, perched high in the Dachstein
Less anticipated, though, was the extent to which the aesthetics of Alpine hospitality would so bless us. Little things, like a welcome sign Finally though, and most important, I’ve discovered a different kind of beauty that’s robust and life giving. It came as a surprise though, sneaking up on me on Sunday afternoon. Donna and I had come out of the high country and were staying in a wonderful hotel in a small village that we’d accidentally stumbled upon. We’d stashed our
It was supposed to be the Cascades… I spoke with a couple last week who lost their child to cancer at the age of six. As we talked of loss, change and challenge, she reminded me that about 85% of the marriages where a child suffers a disability end in divorce. This, I presume, is because of the tremendous gap between how we thought life would unfold, and how it actually unfolds. Where’s your gap? Job change, or joblessness? Health challenges? A relationship evaporating b
every minute matters.. especially the last one!! I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith – Paul the Apostle You have need of endurance… Hebrews 10:36 Sometimes there’s not a better way. Sometimes there’s only the hard way. – Annonymous When the USA was beating Portugal, at the end of regulation, I said, “please please… let it be only two or three minutes of stoppage time” as a sort of prayer to the soccer gods who I don’t believe in.
My oldest daughter is a Seattle Pacific Alum and writes from Germany this morning as she ponders the tragic shootings here in Seattle and the empty pages in the books that are the lives of her juniors in high school, encouraging each one to fill the pages with hope. Her words about being grounded hope in the midst of bitter realities are appropriate, not just in Germany, but right here, right now, in Seattle. May peace be upon us as we grieve and hope — here are her though
I process by writing… and I’m here in Fresno because my mom’s resting, and ready to go home and be with Jesus. Here’s what I’m thinking while she sleeps. I’m sitting in the dining hall at the retirement center in Fresno, needing to study for Sunday, but finding it hard to do so. Instead I’m thinking about the inevitability of loss, the profound joy of life, and how any attempts to separate the one from the other will always have the affect of making us hollow, shallow caric
lake. It’s about a half mile down to the park on the waterfront and when I arrive, the suns maybe 15 minutes from dipping below the Alps as it moves west, just now greetings my friends in Seattle as first light of a new day. But of course it wasn’t always so. I wonder what thoughts must have unfolded in the minds of people on this beach 70 years ago as they looked across the water to the mountains of Switzerland? Those dark days in Germany’s history were preceded by other