Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Sitting in a classroom on the second floor of the seminary, I dutifully listened to the lecture on monasticism. It was a warm fall afternoon and my mind was drifting toward graduation and "getting out into the real world."

Lecturing in a voice that seemed to drone on and on, the professor talked about monasticism as a practice in which a person renounces all worldly pursuits so that they can fully devote their lives to spiritual work.

I wanted to renounce all theological studies so that I could fully devote myself to ministry. I wanted to get on with the task of ministerial practice.

That has been several years ago.

Today I was walking through my local christian "gifts and trinket" store looking for a book. I was struck by several books that address a "new monasticism." My memory was jarred into remembering a recent Christianity Today issue that focused on this issue. (September, 2005.Volume 49, No.9)

The New Monasticism is a clarion call for people to:

practice thoughtful, prayerful and contemplative lives

experience communal life

renew an interest in and practice of hospitality

meaningful engage with the poor and marginalized of this world

All of these sound strangely like the teachings of Jesus. How sad that we have veered toward self-centeredness, individuality, privacy, and avoidance of exposure to the worlds difficulties.

Here are some resources that may be helpful as the church navigates the rapids of change.

The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne

New Monasticism, What it has to say to the Church, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Jesus For President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals, Shane Claiborne

Drinking from the springs of these wells will remind you that the Christian Faith is simple and we are called to be simple followers.

The CT article closes with these words..."though the new monasticism is a minority movement, its impact could be far beyond the numbers of people involved. None of these historical movements were ever a huge percentage of the Christian population. But they had a disproportionate impact on society. I think we are going to see that over the next 50 years."

Monday, July 28, 2008


"Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, twentieth century martyr, wrote these words in his brief work entitled, Creation and Fall/Temptation.

"Forgetfulness of God" is a haunting phrase.

There are several factors that contribute to Bonhoeffer's description of "forgetfulness."

Neglect is a factor

Busy-ness is a factor

Lack of Focus is a factor

These factors are often accentuated by the culture in which we live.

So what is a pilgrim on the Journey to do?

We can guard against neglect by keeping our priorities in focus.

We can eliminate busy-ness in our lives by having priorities.

We can focus when our priorities guide our decisions.

The opposite of "forget" is to "remember."

There is an old African proverb that says something like this....

"Don't look where you fell, remember where you slipped."

Not a bad thought at the close of the day.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This evening, after a long day, I took my bike out of the garage and pointed it toward the end of the driveway.

It was as though the bike knew what was coming next.

A quick five mile jaunt through the neighborhood allowed me an opportunity for solitude. I was looking forward to the quiet, but not looking forward to the rigor of riding five miles.

The solitude provided an opportunity for some surprising insights, five to be exact. Here they are in no particular order.

1. There is a lot of debris, trash, beer cans, and bumps that you would never see when speeding along the road. Insight: I wonder how much I miss because I am always on the move at a fast pace?

2. People drive fast and can force you off the road when you are plodding along at a snails pace. Insight: Bigger and faster always wins. How sad!

3. The path always looks a lot shorter on a map. Insight: You never get any exercise reading a map!

4. When you are quiet, all kinds of things cross your mind...i.e. "the could-a, would-a, should-a" list kicks in. Insight: The tyranny of the unfinished can drive you to discouragement and despair if you allow it.

5. If you stop pedaling the bike stops and you can fall off and hurt yourself...in that order. Insight: Keep pedaling.

The week is before me and there will be a lot more five mile excursions into solitude. I wonder if there are lessons to be learned in every one of those miles? I think there are lessons to be learned, insights to be embraced, and experiences to be welcomed if we "stop...look...and listen."

I wish I could be more profound, but I think there is something deep in the simple things of life.

Keep pedaling!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yesterday I asked a lot of questions.

Soren Kierkegaard asked a lot of questions....Here is one of my favorite section of his writings

Where am I? Who am I?

How did I come to be here?

What is this thing called the world?

How did I come into the world?

Why was I not consulted?

And If I am compelled to take part in it,

Where is the director?

I want to see him.

I am beginning to wonder whether we should judge people by the questions they ask rather than the answers that they give.

The older I get, the more impressed I am by the questions that people pose rather than the answers they offer.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Curiosity is a funny thing. I think I am a curious person. I am interested in knowing things. I have always been that way. Often times when I am curious I ask questions.

I have never met Larry Page or Sergey Brin. These are not household names, but they have shaped the world in profound ways. They are meta-examples of curiosity.

It started in Stanford University where they were students. Two curious students who have gone on to establish the largest American company (by market capitalization) that is not part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

As of late June, 2008 their company had over 19,000 full time employees. Just 10 years earlier in 1998,they incorporated as a privately held company. 4 years ago in their initial public offering they raised nearly 2 billion dollars bringing their worth to 23 billion dollars.

Everyday they help satisfy my curiosity by steering me toward answers on their web site http://www.google.com/.

Their headquarters is called the Googleplex and is located in Mountain View, California.

I am curious.

I would have loved to have been there in the Stanford dorm room when Larry looked at Sergey and said, "Hey Serge...let's create an internet search, web based e-mail, online mapping, office productivity social networking and video sharing website."

"Say what?"

"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about."

And the rest is history.

Everyday, Larry and Sergey make my job easier. I simply go to their website and ask a question. They are never busy, they never say, "that was a dumb question," they never make me feel stupid for posing questions.

I googled "Google" today during a break in the action. Here is what popped up on my screen..."Personalized Results (I like that phrase) 1-10 of about 2,730,000,000

Now I am really curious. How long would it take to get through all of those "Personalized Results?"

Fortunately, I do not have to sift through all of that, after all Larry and Sergey have 19,000 employees to care for the data.

My thanks goes to Larry and Sergey and the 19,000 employees at the Googleplex. These words that I am writing take the Personalized Results up to 2,730,000, 001.

Who says we can't make a difference? Just curious!

Monday, July 21, 2008


By some accounts, Hillary Clinton may owe as much as 25 million dollars from her recent campaign from the presidency.

That's a lot of money by any account.

It makes me wonder what happens to the incurred indebtedness. Who pays for that? Where does that money come from? Who is responsible for covering these over expenditures?

Recently I was thumbing through a favorite periodical. Hidden on page 19 I saw the following sentence beside a small picture of a smiling Hillary.

Hillary Clinton's campaign sells "never give up" T-shirts

to reduce debt after having given up.

Say what?

Ironic? You bet!

Hey, go ahead and smile....it's worth the effort!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


On October 6, 2005 I was sitting in a meeting in Houston, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to allocate resources that had been donated to alleviate the suffering caused on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina.

As the meeting was coming to a close, one of the participants talked about a "Rapid Response Team" that could respond within 24 hours of a natural disaster.

He went on to describe a trailer that contained all of the supplies necessary to respond to these kinds of crises.

Feverishly I wrote down the contents dreaming of how I could find the resources to obtain a rapid response trailer. The idea of having a trailer and being a "first responder" in these crisis seemed like an exciting prospect.

On Tuesday of this last week I received a phone call. When I answered it, I was overwhelmed.

"We have a Rapid Response Trailer for you. It is fully stocked and ready to roll. All you have to do is go to Kansas City and pick it up."

Whew! I couldn't believe it! But it was true. I felt like the Psalmist David who said, "he will give you the desires of your heart."

October, 2005 until July, 2008 was a time of preparation.

Here's the catch...."all you have to do is go to Kansas City and pick it up..."

So I stood in front of my church family and shared the story of how God was at work.

At the end of the service, the response was overwhelming.

"I can go and get the trailer, just let me know when."

"I have next week off, and I can go to Kansas City."

"I'm up for a road trip, when can we leave?"

"My son and I have a week off and we would love to go to Kansas City"

I just got a phone call from a person who said, "my next door neighbor will go to Kansas City and get our trailer." Now what makes this offer so interesting is that the neighbor does not attend our church, but was moved to volunteer to help.

As I recounted all of this over lunch, my daughter looked at me and said, "Dad, we don't have because we don't ask." Sounds strangely like words in the Bible.

So I am grateful for the ways that God provides....and I pray that the resources entrusted to me will wisely be used for His Kingdom.

Thanks to all who volunteered.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Annie Dillard wrote words that resonate with my soul....

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.

Here is how I spend my Saturday afternoon....

I ate leftover grilled chicken from last night

I "desserted" on strawberry shortcake

I napped for a few minutes

I worked on words and stories to share tomorrow

I did 4 miles by bike through my neigborhood

I watched the Tour De France for a few minutes

I relaxed....

I decided Annie Dillard was right, so I decided to spend the afternoon.

I will never have this moment again, so I decided to be "fully present in the moment."

I cannot take this moment with me so I am savoring a great Saturday afternoon.

Sabbath is here...

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Nelson Mandela will celebrate his 90th birthday next week.

His resume is replete with accomplishments that would make most people feel like they had lived a boring life.

In the July 21st issue of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel interviews Mandela who he refers to as "the world's greatest moral leader." He goes on to call him "the closest thing the world has to a secular saint."

Now, I am no Mandela, but "the world's greatest moral leader?" "Secular saint?"

I had to meander past those descriptors to the heart of Stengel's article.

He outlines Mandela's 8 Lessons of Leadership.

Here they are....

Courage is not the absence of fear-its inspiring others to move beyond it.

Lead from the front-but don't leave your base behind.

Lead from the back-and let others believe they are in front.

Know your enemy-and learn about his favorite sport.

Keep your friends close-and your rivals even closer.

Appearances matter-and remember to smile.

Nothing is black or white.

Quitting is leading too.

I have been thinking about these lessons and how they might influence the decisions that I make daily. I have been reflecting on ways to think about "the first will be last" thinking that is prevalent in the writings of the Master Teacher. I have been wondering if the kingdom of God is really an "upside down" world.


...the first will be last and the last will first."

"whoever wants to be great would have to be a servant"

"God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise"

"...he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong"

Some of Mandela's Lessons on Leadership have given me pause to think, some I am not sure about, others may have truth to them.

Jesus' insights into the Kingdom of God give me pause to think, some stretch me beyond my comfort zone, and others leave me speechless.

The Kingdom of God is waiting for people to live out its tenets and experience His grace in the process.

Life is interesting when we affirm that the "Kingdom of God" is at hand.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Earl Creps in his book entitled, Off Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders asks three provocative questions that I have been wrestling with as I am walking through a series of teachings on grace this summer.

Here are the questions....

"Who do we know in our church, that to the eye, is growing spiritually?"

"What if anything do these growing people have in common?"

"What could we do to make sure that everyone in our church has this kind of experience?"

Think about it for a moment....think about it honestly....think about your community of faith....

Who would be on your list of people that are growing spiritually? If it takes you a while to make that list, there might be a problem.

What common traits to do you see among the people on your list? Spiritual growth doesn't happen by accident.

What can we do to make certain that others have the opportunity to experience growth like those on your list?

I am often more comfortable with questions like these...

"Who is going to lock up the building on Sunday after the service?"

"What time does the softball game start on Tuesday evening?'

"If my last name is A-K what am I supposed to bring to the potluck?

Don't look now, but those questions don't create spiritual growth. Sure they are a lot more fun to think about, but spiritual growth is not birthed in the canals of those questions.

Getting the right response is largely dependent upon asking the right question.

What questions are on your mind in these days?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In my reading yesterday I ran across a statement that arrrested my attention. I have been trying to get my mind wrapped around what it means to be a church "on a mission." I have known churches and organizations that spend more time creating and thinking about mission statements than they ever do engaging in mission.

I don't want to be guilty of that as a leader, so when I read this statement it brought a sense of clarity to my mind.

The statement is attributed to Leonard Griffin.

The church does not engage in mission, the church is

mission, or it ceases to be the church.

When I begin to understand that His church is mission it begins to re-frame what I think about and what I do. It frees me from the tyranny of looking for things to "do" and sets me free to "be" the church.

My understanding of "being" and "doing" is being challenged in these days. I find it easier to "do" things in the name of the kingdom rather than to "be" the kingdom, especially when faced with all kinds of needs.

So....the question is this...."is the church a place or a people?"

Of course, we all know the answer to that question, but do we really?

To often we associate the church as a "place where things happen."

The words we use capture it well..."we go to church" like we go to the store. "We attend church" like we attend school, or "we belong to a church" like we belong to an organization.

I am discovering in new ways something I have known for a long time. It has often gotten me in trouble as I have attempted to be true to His calling. Here it is...There is a major shift from a "church-centered" view to a "God-centered" view.

To often we measure the strength of a church by how many attend. I am beginning to wonder if the strength of the church ought to be measured by how many go out to participate in what God is doing in the world.

To often we view church as one writer views it when he calls the church a "vendor of goods and services." Death is around the corner for churches when their ministry is influenced by a "consumer mentality."

So this morning I am thinking about the phrase that I read yesterday. I am reminded that the central aspect of the teaching of Jesus was concerning the Kingdom of God.

Then the scripture from Matthew 10:7 takes on new meaning. "As you go, proclaim the good news, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'"

I am listening to the One who whispers....."the kingdom of God is at hand."

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Yesterday I was at a breakfast meeting and at the conclusion one of the men stood up and made a few comments to those that were gathered. It is my custom to take out a pencil and paper when I listen to someone speaking. I am always looking for comments, quotations or tidbits that I can use somewhere down the road.

On the back of a sheet of paper I wrote these words...

"When God brings you to it,

He will bring you through it."

I wish I would have had that pithy phrase tucked inside my soul when I stood on the streets of Oakville last week.

There have been several times over the last several weeks when I wish I would have had that phrase to explain situations that I faced.

God brings us to a variety of situations daily. Some have the capacity to overwhelm. Some have the ability to smother our creativity.

Looming in my mind is this question...

What happens between the moment when we face a situation

and the moment when we realize that He is with us in that situation?

It seems like most people that I meet are facing "situations" and trying to figure out how He is going to "bring them through it."

I can recall being caught in the nexus between the situation and the solution several times in my life. In those moments I have held on for dear life and realized that there is One who was holding on to me.

So I am going to live with this slogan etched on my heart....

"When God brings you to it,

He will bring you through it."

Friday, July 11, 2008


Here is a multiple choice question...

Look at the picture above. Is it

A. A picture of a tire destroyed in the Iowa floods

B. A picture of a tire that was left over on the SD card

C. A picture of a tire that was left at a rest stop on our way home

D. A picture of a blown out tire on the UHaul trailer containing all of our equipment.

We have been to Oakville, Iowa for nearly a week and have shot lots of pictures. If you answered "A" you might be right. You might even be correct if you said "B ." "C" is plausible.

But if you guessed "D" you would be correct.

We have traveled close to 1500 miles without incident then all of a sudden I felt the truck jolt and made contact by radio with our communications expert who told me that I just blew the rear tire on the U Haul trailer.

Everyone is safe, and for this we are thankful.

Now here is the really cool part of the whole story. We are sitting along side of I69 at exit 48 waiting for Roadside Assistance. The Lord may return before they get here but we are optimistic that we will be back on the road within an hour.

I said "while I wait I will update my blog." We are in the middle of nowhere.

Our CE (communications expert) said, "wait a minute."

He got out his cell phone and took a picture of the tire. He sent it by email to me. Then he took out his mobile card and fired up his laptop and I got the above picture in a matter of seconds.

So I am sitting on the side of the road, blogging, sweating, and waiting for roadside assistance.

Life is full of little interruptions.

I had no idea that all around me are signals waiting to be harnessed and sent through a piece of machinery that enables me to communicate. Amazing.
I am connected in the middle of Michigan countryside.
I am also connected to Him this evening and He knows where I am even if I am not sure.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


It has been quite a week. We have worked all week long in the community of Oakville, Iowa. It is sad to see the week come to a close and to say farewell to other kingdom residents. There has been a sense of gratefulness permeating all that we have done and it has reminded me that God is at work in ways that are beyond our understanding.

Here are the top five lessons I learned this week.

1. God is at work even though it is not alway obvious to us. I met people this week that affirmed His presence even in the absence of everything that was precious to them.

2. Churches are more equipped to meet the needs of hurting communities than any government agency. Oakville was full of Baptist, Mennonite, Methodist and Nazarene church groups cleaning up houses caused by the flooding. I am assuming that the government agencies will soon finish discussions and begin to work shortly. Until then the church is making the difference.

3. Family connections can make a big difference in those who have lost all of their personal belongings. I met people whose "kin-folk" rallied to their aid and you can see the difference this has made in their life.

4. Good meals can make a work team do extraordinary things. The team ate ham and eggs for breakfast, great sandwiches for lunch and evening meals of pot roast, chicken and steak. A well fed team is a happy team.

5. God's whisper can drown out the noise of devastation. Everywhere we looked this week we saw and smelled the stench of the destruction caused by the Iowa floods, yet it could not drown out the stillness of His voice.

I am thinking about each of these lessons at the close of this trip. I am thankful for each lesson learned and each experience of His Grace.

Tomorrow we head back home and I am praying that I will not forget what I have seen, touched, tasted and savored.

I trust the One who can bring all these back to my memory.


Cooperation is an interesting word.

It means, the process of working or acting together. I have been privileged this week to experience cooperation with 16 individuals who have labored together in Oakville, Iowa.

The song, Home on the Range keeps rambling through the crevasses of my cranium. One line says it all....

"...where never is heard a discouraging word,
and the skies are not cloudy all day."

That is the atmosphere of cooperation.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Oakville, Iowa is a neighborhood community. It is "small town" USA and it is a place where everybody knows your name.

We have spent the last three days working in this community. It has been hot and humid and sweat has dripped from our foreheads.

Newspaper and media types have infiltrated the streets of this little community. They have snapped pictures and interviewed residents while volunteers have slogged through mud trying to free houses from the grip of recent flooding.
The houses have been destroyed but the neighborhoods will return.
No one knows what the future holds for Oakville. Everybody seems to have a plan. While others are talking, volunteers are working.
The residents are looking for answers from the government. Some are waiting for FEMA to make a decision. Meanwhile, church groups are flooding Oakville with goodwill and assistance. If residents are looking for answers from the government they will be waiting a long time. If they are looking for immediate assistance from church groups they will not be disappointed.
"We are here to help!"
It is interesting that the residents of Oakville say the same words, they just use a different inflection. They say, "We're here to. Help!"
That is the reason we are here.


"Extra...Extra...Read all about it!"

Those words were heard on street corners announcing a special edition of the newspaper. Stories that merited their own edition were heralded to those that passed by own busy sidewalks.

Extra...what an interesting word. It means,
"more than beyond what is usual, normal, expected or necessary."

Here is an extra report to give you a picture of what God is doing through 16 people in the heartland.

The hyperlink below is longer than the report. Hit the hyperlink and then fast forward to 6:56 in the broadcast.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"I just retired a couple of years ago. We paid off all of our debt and were enjoying life. Now today we are homeless."

Those three sentences should never be in the same paragraph.

I walked toward his home to assess the damage and to consider how we could help. Walking into his living room the floor was buckled and the stench was overwhelming.

I looked into his eyes and could see the pain etched in the lines in his face. His wife sat in the truck and watched as we surveyed the damage.

Oakville, Iowa will never be the same again.

For those of us who have come to help, we will never be the same either.

Today was a day filled with many experiences. The temperature was in the high 90's and the heat index made it feel over 100.

We are divided into two teams.

One team is working in the home of a man who recently lost his wife in a tragic car accident. He now has lost his home and he has also lost his job due to the floods. Those three events should never be in the same lifetime.

The other team is working in the home of a man who has lived in the same house for over 60 years. He stands in the ruins of his home and longs for days gone by. He doesn't know whether he is going to stay or whether he is going to move somewhere else. Only time will tell.

I am also thankful for the other members of the team who have prepared meals, supported the site teams, and provided communication support for the team.

The day is over and weariness has set in. We have already eaten. We devoured 12 pounds of pot roast, nearly 10 pounds of mashed potatoes and nearly a quarter acre of green beans. Sleep is right around the corner and it is welcomed.

Tomorrow is another day and we are readying ourselves to "embrace grace!" in Oakville....just another part of God's Kingdom.


Every once in a while you get a great opportunity to serve. An opportunity comes your way that reminds you of why God created you.

16 people....five vehicles...and a five hundred mile road trip. Oakville, Iowa.

Oakville is a small community of less than five hundred people. It is a community of people who have lived and worked together until three weeks ago.

The warnings had been issued, but they had heard them before. The Mississippi and Iowa Rivers had been friendly neighbors for years and yet they were about to alter their course and affect Oakville forever.


"Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending."

We are here in Iowa to help bring a new ending to people whose lives have been devastated by floods.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I walked in my friends coffee shop this morning for a quick brewmuff. I am trying to save words in my blog so I combined coffee and blueberry muffin into one word...brewmuff.

I unpacked my laptop and thought I would store a few words in the hard drive. What happened next was amazing.

A guy walked in the door with a guitar. Another guy across the shop eyes lit up as he saw his friend walk through the door.

They sat down in the middle of the coffee shop and sang a few songs.

"Mustang Sally"

"Coffee Shop Blues"

And a few Rascal Flatts and Willie Nelson songs.

People began to sing along and pretty soon there was what Fyodor Dostoevsky described as the "spirit of place."

"Spirit of Place" refers to that unique, honored aspect of a place or situation. It is nothing that can be planned, formed or anticipate. It just happens.

You don't know when it is going to happen, but you know it when you see it or feel it.

I felt it this morning.

I long to experience the "spirit of place" where I worship, where I live, and where I work. It happens when we least expect it, it occurs when we most need it, and it unfolds in times when our spirits are ready to embrace it.

All three of those happened this morning for me, and I am thankful.

Slow down today and be ready for His moments.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


On Sunday of this week sixteen individuals from the church I attend will give up a weeks work, pay $100, and work in less than ideal circumstances caused by flooding in the midwest.

We met together last Sunday and there was an excitement in the air as we began our preparations to trek to the heartland.

I stood back and reflected on those moments and want to make three observations.

1. People want to help people who have suffered loss and devastation. Often they don't know how to tangibly do so. Iowa will give us an opportunity to return to "Katrina" mode and offer grace to people.

2. People want to donate to meaningful causes. One lady walked up to me at the conclusion of church and offered a check to cover expenses that we will incur. She is a "seasoned citizen" who is no longer able to "go" but still able to "give." You could tell by looking into her eyes that if she was able to "go" she would.

3. People are thankful for what they have when they see the devastation encountered by others. Sadly, it is not until we see others losses that we stop to reflect on what we have. My daughter is working in Iowa on a short term assignment caring for those affected by the flooding.

She wrote these words..."Each day is different, talking to people and hearing their stories can be exhausting, but God renews my strength each day. One of the best experiences I have had has been to go into a temporary childcare center located at a church. Being with the kids and "doing what I do" is refreshing. Most of these children are living in shelters and hearing their stories about life in a shelter makes you appreciate what you have. Me living out of a suitcase for 3 weeks doesn't even compare to having all their belongings in a Target bag."

So we are preparing. We are getting ready to go to minister to those who "who have all their belongings in a Target bag."

I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


The question caught my attention....

"How do I know what I think until I see what I say?

What a provocative question to face early in the morning. I ran across it in some reading that I was doing late yesterday afternoon, and filed it for consideration today.

Writing and speaking are very interesting endeavors. Both require forethought and yet there are times when thoughts and statements appear "off the cuff" and strike like lightning on dry tinder.

"Off the cuff" comments are those words that have little or no preparation or forethought before they are delivered. They can be deadly or they can be redemptive.

Late Saturday night I stood on the sidewalk in front of the hospital and looked into the eyes of a young man who had just lost his father in a tragic unsuspecting death. I didn't know what to say. I tried to form words that would be comforting and encouraging and then words blurted out of my mouth before I had time to filter them.

I said, "He died of a broken heart." No forethought...no preparation..."off the cuff." And yet, they were the right words for the moment. I knew what I was feeling, but I couldn't squeeze words into conformity to the emotions that I felt.

"He died of a broken heart."

I didn't know that those words fit until I heard them. Now I think I know a little more about how to answer the question.

"How do I know what I think until I see what I say?

Maybe Thomas Merton was right when he said..."Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."

Things would be vastly different for people if they ceased trying to solve the problems of life and begin to enjoy the mystery of life.

Ahhhh! I'm livin' in the mystery and lovin' it!