Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grandma Tales

This comes from some dear friends at church:
We've sat in front of your mom the past several Sundays and DJ [their one year old foster son] pretty much smiles, laughs, and generally flirts with her most of the service.  She seems to love it.  So, when we arrived this past Sunday and walked into the row in front of her, I turned to her and said, "Well Rebecca, your boyfriend is here," (meaning DJ of course).  With a straight face, she looked around, seemingly oblivous to DJ, and said, "How did he find me here?"  Gotta love this lady. 
We're still trying to figure out who Grandma's boyfriend is, and why she's been keeping him a secret. How she's been keeping him a secret is just too much to think about. We've checked under the bed -- nothing there.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grandma Tales

We got drums.

While it is technically correct that the drums belong to Jono, and that Jon paid for most of them, and that he is the only one who uses them, and that drums would not be in our basement except for Jon's lifelong desire to beat on something legal, still -- we got them.

All of us. All of us, and the neighbors. All of us, and the community. All of us, and all those who drive by on River Road. We all have drums now. All God's children got drums. Drums are loud.

Grandma got drums. Although I'm not sure if she really gets that she got them. The drums sit under her room. Because of her hearing aids, the full aural equation of sound does not reach her eardrums, but something does. She doesn't know that it's drums. But she knows it's loud. She knows it's Jon. She knows she doesn't particularly like it. Especially when Dr. Phil or Bill O'Reilly or Wheel of Fortune are on the TV. And it especially annoys her when Jon competes with the Golden Girls.

So a couple of days ago, Grandma brought out her TV remote. She often forgets now what the thing does, and she mixes it up with the other remotes within her reach -- a remote for her lift chair, a remote for her electric heating blanket on the lift chair. You can imagine trying to find O'Reilly and having your chair lift you up and out instead. Or thinking that you just cranked up the heat, only to have Dr. Phil shouting at the top of his lungs. It's confusing. So she brought out the TV remote for a consultation.

"What's this thing do?"

"It's the remote for your TV, Mom."

"How can I get it to stop?"

"You mean turn off the TV?"

"No. I mean Jono. What do I press to get it to stop?"

"You mean the drums?"

"That noise! How can I turn it off?!"  She looked at the remote, pressing buttons and listening to see if anything happened. Some people might do this to be funny. Grandma was being funny, but not on purpose. She thought there must be a button that worked on Jon and his drums.

The great thing about hearing aids is that you can take them out. We found the button. For Grandma. I don't have hearing aids. Yet.

(Luckily, the kid is doing great with the sticks. There's been more dancing in this house since we got drums. Dancing is good.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Grandma Tales

I thought you'd enjoy this:

We're coming up on the annual Freeland Walleye Festival. Freeland is where I live. Walleye is what's in the river. The Festival celebrates it all.

So, in the spirit of civic involvement, and because I love to fish, and because walleye is good eating even if it's loaded to the gills with dioxins, I entered the Freeland Walleye Festival Fishing Tournament last year. And I fished on Sunday. After church. For an hour. Maybe. It was raining.

Fishing on a Sunday is verboten to my mother.

Anyway, I found this note today. On a Sunday, maybe that Sunday, my mom had this note delivered to me at my fishing spot in our backyard on the Tittabawassee River:

Dear Ron,
Your mother does NOT like you fishing on Sunday.
And I'm sure your congregation won't like it when they hear you do SUNDAY fishing!
P.S. I love you anyway, and please come in and get some supper.
Your Mother.
'Nuff said.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


I woke up at 2:30 a.m. Monday night. I don't know for sure, but I could swear I was singing this song out loud (no confirmation from Linda). If it wasn't on my lips, it was in my brain, and when I startled awake, the lyrics were right there. This has always been my favorite hymn, and expresses much of my own longing and my own thinking about being a pastor and a Jesus-follower. In fact, the words are so close to me I hesitate to share them with you. But I will. Sometimes I sing this in an empty auditorium.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies;
No sudden rending of the veil of clay;
No angel visitants, no opening skies.
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Hast Thou not bid me love thee, God and King?
All, all thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven-descended Dove,
my heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.