Category: Articles

I received the most wonderful news. I did not win the 2019 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. I submitted my book, Random Fragments, in May of this year. I could say that I’ve been waiting anxiously to receive word regarding the outcome of my submission but that wouldn’t be true. I knew that once I had completed the book and submitted it that I had already won.
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Verse of the day
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (NIV)

In this world being weak usually means being without power, it means being stepped upon, abused, used, mistreated, taken advantage of, etc. Weakness is seen as a huge detriment. No one wants to be weak. Where does this desire to not be weak come from? A place of fear? Of helplessness? Pride? If you are weak then how can you defend yourself? This world looks down upon the weak. No one wants others to look down upon them.

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Verse of the day
1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (NIV)

What does this look like to you? The laying down of one’s life. It’s very popular in our society, especially in literature, films, and movies, for people to be “redeemed” when they die for others. Even more so when the person dying has been the antagonist of the story. We look to people who die for others in real life as “heroes.” However, I believe that the meaning of this verse goes beyond physically dying for another person. Continue reading

What a glorious day it is today in Sacramento, California! I’m so thankful to be alive. I woke up way earlier than I wanted, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, and dove into my morning devotion. The wind was whipping the trees back and forth as I opened my windows in anticipation. Yes, this is why the Lord woke me up early today. A swift delta breeze greeted me and cooled my room down from the hot steamy night. Cirrus clouds spread through the azure blue while birds proclaimed the wonder of being alive.

Is it just me or do you find yourself running late when you’ve woken up earlier? I think it has to do with the thought that, “I’m up earlier so I can take more time.” I don’t know. When getting dressed, the first shirt I picked out had a very small discoloration that has probably always been there but today it disqualified the shirt. I teach on Sundays and, I know, it’s likely vanity, but I don’t want to be standing up in front of a class with a “spot” on my shirt. I grabbed another shirt and one of the buttons on the sleeve didn’t want to button. I was running about five minutes late and that sucker would not button.

I left the house and when I hit the freeway it was jammed full of cars. On Sunday morning the freeway rarely has much traffic which makes for a nice drive to church. I was late; nothing I can do; so I did what you do while you slowly move through traffic. Up ahead I saw the flashing of emergency lights. An accident. A bad accident. Four, no- five cars. Wow, that car looks like it bounced. An ambulance sitting there. I passed by to an open freeway. I was Fifteen minutes late now but arrived only eight minutes late. I  realized that, had I been on time, I could have been in that accident.

In class, we were on the subject of trusting God. I raised the question, “Why do we trust God with very big things and very little things but struggle with daily activities?” I recounted how, by being late this morning, I possibly missed being in a nasty accident. One of the students was also late this morning and was right there when the accident happened. Fortunately, she was in the furthest left lane and managed to make it through unscathed. However, if she had been on time, she’d have been in the accident. She even marked the exact time of the accident.

Had I been on time, had I not been woken up early, had I not taken the time to enjoy the morning breeze and not noticed that spot on a shirt I’ve worn so many times, I would have been in that accident. I’m usually in that spot, every Sunday, on the freeway. It’s my onramp.

I could have been that person in the ambulance that wasn’t going anywhere. No need to rush for the dead. My student could have been in that ambulance. I’m prayerful for the family that lost someone today.

I don’t know what caused the accident. I do know that Sunday morning driving isn’t driving Miss Daisy either. I see more people speeding to make it somewhere on time than any other day of the week. I hope that wasn’t the case this morning, but I’m there every Sunday and it’s “the spot” where I frequently encounter Sunday Dashers.

I do know that God’s timing is perfect and when I accept that, days happen like today. A normal day, like any other, because I trusted in God’s timing and, today, I’m alive to take a crack at tomorrow.