The beach is made of sand. Anybody knows that. What difference does a single grain make?

It seems that depends on where it is. When you eat a bowl of clam chowder on the coast, when the clams are very fresh and not out of a can, you will find a grain of sand now and then in your soup.

If you spend the day frolicking by the sea, you may find a grain or a few in some uncomfortable places. And if you find a grain of sand inside an oyster after it’s been there for a good while, you may be very excited indeed.

A grain of sand by itself is, for the most part, insignificant. It is blown around by the wind and thrown every which way. It is tracked along by people or animals. It has not enough weight to stay put.

But when you gather a few billion of those grains, it can withstand the great crashing waves of the sea.

On our last morning at the Oregon coast, my wife and I wanted to steal away for a last brief walk. It was our most windy experience of the week as the scattered raindrops and loose sand were blowing in a stinging combination. It was less exfoliating and more irritating than I would have expected.

The wind off of the sea was blowing the sand (and Tori’s hair) pretty wildly. The light colored waves on the beach are actually waves of sand being blown along (lighter in color because it is dry, not damp).

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Awake and Sober

April 10, 2017

You know that feeling after a big thanksgiving or other holiday feast? When you want to loosen your belt a notch and sit back and give in to the sleepy feeling that comes over you? I suppose it’s not unlike a moderate buzz from drinking, though I don’t have firsthand knowledge of such. It’s a calm, comfortable moment.

If someone was interested in attacking you for some reason, that would be a pretty good time to do so. You’re reflexes are slowed and your attention is fuzzy. You tend to fade in and out of conversation. You sleep through the big plays in the football game.

That feeling is common when we overindulge our appetites. It makes us a little slow, a little hazy… and vulnerable. Read the rest of this entry »

Revision of Vision

June 26, 2015

Dwelling upon the many powerful moments this week, the second phrase to which our attention has been drawn is simply, “Enlarge the Vision.”

Every pastor has something of a vision of seeing lives transformed. But, when faced with the challenge to expand or enlarge that vision, it can seem like being accosted about our lack of faith. We want to see God work in amazing ways but don’t really believe that He would do that – not in us or in our circumstances.

I could put a pretty “holy” spin on that by telling you it’s because I recognize what an unworthy tool I am and that, for God to do anything at all in and through my life, it’s nothing short of miraculous…but that would only highlight the absurdity of thinking what God can do is in any possible way dependent upon me. Ridiculous, no?

I have a small vision (if any at all) because I have a small faith. Read the rest of this entry »