Monday, October 14, 2019

How I Know There Is A God #6 (The rain in Michigan falls mainly on ... other people)

Debbie and I have been on vacation in “The U.P.”  That’s the upper peninsula of Michigan for you non-midwestern types. We really needed a break. It’s our “sabbath” from the world. And it has been cloudy and rainy every day since we arrived. This morning I asked God for a little favor. Sunshine. Not necessarily all day. Just enough to keep my dreary soul from going over the edge into some sort of dismal abyss. We decided to take a long drive. See the colorful fall leaves. We set off with clouds intact. And as we’re drove... they cleared. Oh, not everywhere. Just over US. All around us on all four sides in the distance we were surrounded by clouds and shafts of rain reaching the ground. We drove fifty miles and stopped for lunch in Paradise, Michigan. We gazed at the sunshine above us. We gazed at the rain out on the lake. We got in our car and drove back to our cabin. We opened the sun roof. (See the picture above.)  The sky was Cobalt blue in our little area. We stopped at a picnic table and watched the rain come down over Lake Superior. All the while we sat in bright sunshine. We finished the drive back and passed cabin, heading for a bakery five miles East toward Sault Ste Marie. Yep. Still sunny. Rain to our right. Rain to our left. Rain in front of us and rain behind us. After purchasing our goodies we started back to the cabin. The clouds closed in. And as we pulled into the driveway ... rain finally spattered on our windshield.

Chance? Happenstance? You’ll never convince me. As I sit in the Sun room and watch the clouds and rain fall in the backyard and over the lake I am convinced more than ever ... we have a good, good, Father.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

How I Know There Is A God #5. (Loyalty, Sacrifice, Honor)

This week I conducted the funeral service of a dear friend, Lt. Col. Dave Valanta, USAF Retired. The items on the table tell you just a small portion of what was important to Dave. I believe you can figure it out. Where do men and women who serve their country at such great sacrifice come from?  Who builds that into them? We live in such a cynical “Me first” age. But in the middle of it all we find these gems who give everything to serve and protect those they love. What draws one to become a policeman? A fireman? A medic? A soldier?A sailor? An airman who will strap on thousands of gallons of highly explosive fuel and take to the skies to make certain that those who destroy evil empires from the air are able to have the gas to get home at the end of the day? How does that trait break through the kind of rubble found in so many human souls and volunteer to give all to assure that good will survive? It isn’t taught. It isn’t learned. I believe it is a gift planted within a human heart by a kind Creator who insists on “right” prevailing. “Greater Love has no man than this, that he’d lay down his life for a friend.”

R.I.P. my friend.