Saturday, January 17, 2009

Safe After All

Entering the 10 Freeway off the 75 in Bay City today, Linda spun the Big White 180 on the snowy roads, and the car behind struck her on the front driver's side. She banged her head, her neck hurts, and her shoulder aches. But she is OK.

Naturally, we just dropped the collision on Big White about a month ago to save $$. The front grill is destroyed, the driver's side body above the front wheel is bent up, and the headlight is scratch. I'm hoping to repair the headlight to make it all legal, but that's all.

I'm thanking God for a big heavy car that took the damage instead of my wife.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sitting Here

It is -3 degrees. On January 16 the sun rises at just the right spot so that, sitting here at 3550 N. River Road, the first rays of light shine direct on the first new ice of the Tittabawassee. Everything else waits for the brilliance, but straight down the river, tracing its course at least for a quarter mile, the dawn falls only on the frozen water, like it was planned. It's dazzling.

A fox, red and bold, chases the beams. How does he live in this sub-zero environment? It must be the sun.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

White Stuff Revisited

Grace=Jeremy with a shovel.

Living at home when you're out of college may be hard for the kids, but it has advantages for the parents. Not only do driveways get shovelled, but having another person around to laugh with, to swap Grandma stories with, and to coerce (someday?) to watch Camelot all the way through -- it's good. I know it won't last forever.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

White Stuff

Out my window another four inches waits. Down south at our city cottage over a foot of accumulated stuff is expected by Thursday. It all patiently sits, anxious for a shovel.

Grace=snow blower. 

Monday, January 05, 2009


                                               n I miss a day. It's just a blog.

Here's something:

The latest issue of Plain Truth magazine included this delightful letter, written in response to my article published therein: Hooked on Religion --

"Please cancel my subscription to your magazine. I am grieved at how you and your writers poke fun at the churches. Who takes care of the widows and the elderly and the sick? It was my church who helped me, comforted me and prayed with me these twenty-five years since my husband died. I used to like your articles, but this one by Ron Benson [July/August 2008] is so hurtful to faithful churchgoers. I’m 77 years old and the church still stands—it will until Jesus returns!"                                    Missouri
It's uncomfortable when widows don't like me.

I understand Missouri's feelings. When someone points to the very things that seem to hold life together for you (in this case, religious practices of protestant churches), and makes jokes about them, it can seem insensitive and cause some pain. Believe me when I say I've known a lot of Missouris in my life, and I don't relish making them uncomfortable. I care about them.

However, (you had to know that was coming), when religious practices stand in the way of knowing Christ, when the human structures of cultural holiness take the place of relationship, when the outside is considered more important than the inside, it's necessary to point it out. For me, humor is the more gentle approach. I could rant and rave, but I don't think anyone would pay attention.

So here's my word to Missouri: Dear friend, we agree on this--the Church will stand. But it will do so in spite of, not because of, our frail human efforts to erect legalistic scaffolding around it. There is an archetect and builder who has agreed to handle church building, if we'll let him.

And if you'll let me, I'll take your hand and we can look together at the things that we sometimes use to prop up the church, and together we can begin to take them down so that he can have room to do his work.

Monday Musings

             ive to make the entries fun, endearing, well-written, and short.
4. I will allow myself to skip Sundays. (I added this because I skipped yesterday.)
5. I won't take a knife to body parts whe

(to be continued no doubt, but first this:)

I was impressed in October when New Mexico governor Bill Richardson flew coach on my plane --  twice.

I was returning from his state, and he was making his way to mine. I caught sight of him in the terminal in Albuquerque (why is it so hard to type that name?). He was dressed in jeans, had a scraggly beard, had a few friends with him who were also dressed not to impress, and a few other of his "friends" placed themselves strategically around the gate area, armed and ready to defend, I'm guessing. 

Since I recognized the governor before my writing friends at the airport saw him, I name-dropped. "Hey -- do you know who that is?" I whispered.

"Not a clue."

"That's Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico!!" Impressive, my connections. I'm thinking he heard me, but he didn't let on. For whatever reason, Governor Bill did not recognize me.

We tried not to stare, tried to act casual, tried not to draw the attention of the Governor's friends with weapons in their pants.

He and his crew boarded the plane first, but it pleased me that he did not get on the plane secretly, and that he was flying commercial, and that he was flying an airline (Frontier) that did not even have first class accommodations. As I stumbled down the narrow fuselage to find my seat, I passed him. He was sitting on the aisle. I think my laptop case brushed his shoulder. I smiled at him, trying to communicate with my eyes that I was impressed by his thrift, his integrity. He didn't look up.

I don't recall where we made the connection, but I was further impressed that the route Governor Richardson chose was not a direct flight. He disembarked my plane and boarded the next one, sharing another leg of the trip with me. We landed together in Detroit just before midnight.

I am not a Democrat or the son of a Democrat. But I thought, I could respect a guy who flies coach.

Today we learn that Governor Richardson has pulled out of the appointment as Commerce Secretary in President-elect Obama's cabinet due to an ongoing investigation into campaign finance shenanigans. One smells the scent of scandal.

I wish we could all be consistent with our integrity. 

Saturday, January 03, 2009

As far as Resolutions go, this is a record!

he following:

  1. I will add the Blogger Dashboard to my "Daily" group, which opens 20 (now 21) websites  automatically with Google Chrome (a great Internet Explorer alternative, BTW).
  2. I will broaden the narrow confines of what I thought Grace Clinic should be about (Grace) and just write about whatever comes to mind (the original intent of this blog). I'm sure grace will come to the top of the stew, since it's always on the mind I hope God uses to write this stuff.
  3. I will str

Friday, January 02, 2009

Day Two: Success!

ery single day. In order to ensure my success with this resolution, I will do t

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Resolution

My first New Year's Resolution for 2009:

I will write something on this blog ev