You’ll be back

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks. We’re having a rainy spell on the Olympic peninsula and yard work is on hold until the sun returns. Waiting has been all the more difficult, because recently I bought a tractor and I’m just itching to bust some sod. I’d drive it to the mail box and back, but that feels more than a little conspicuous to me. To make matters worse, I can’t tell my family about it just yet because I bought it the same day my niece had a baby. It would be terrible to upstage her and the new baby with photos of my tractor.

smbread2Anyway, while out walking and running a few errands around town, we visited Bell Street Bakery (link) to ask about birthday cakes. Turns out it’s not that kind of bakery; they make breads and cookies.

Never one to pass up a cookie, we  Continue reading

What’s in a name?

Walking with the Spirit leads to revelation of the sort that exposes our fears and religious ideas. It startles me just how few words spoken by the Spirit have the power to throw down temples made by men and reduce them to rubble. Yet long after my own temple to man’s religious system was destroyed in my sight, there remain a number of buttresses and other fortifications within me that stand in opposition to the Spirit and Truth. As He pummels yet another of my religious relics, I’m reminded once more of Yeshua’s declaration in Matthew 24:2 “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Whether the physical temple in Jerusalem, or the ideological temples and high places within our minds and hearts, I believe He intends to throw them all down to ruin, that His Spirit and Truth would reign supreme.

It was in laying hands on my wife for healing from chronic leg pain and praying “… in Your name …” that He pummeled another of my religious notions, saying:

“You heal her.”

Say what?!? I have no power to heal anyone! Or do I?

A laissez faire prayer

younamedmewhatAs long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with a separatist mind set in some things – me from Yeshua. Or perhaps I should say, there are ways in which I own the truth of being IN Him, and ways that I see myself as separate from Him. For example, with regard to salvation, I am IN Yeshua without a doubt. Where it comes to healing however, I often see myself on the outside, looking in. Thus on the one hand, I identify as a son of of the Most High; while on the other, my self view is that of a beggar. Continue reading

Meanderings

Not every post has to be a theological masterpiece (not that I’ve ever written one – masterpiece, that is). Nor some nugget of revelation gleaned from examining a scripture for the umpteenth time or an in depth word study of the original Hebrew or Greek texts. Sometimes, I like to simply let my mind wander – well, a lot really, but then responsibility calls or I pick up on the frustration in Karen’s voice when she asks me a question for the 3rd time.

“Uh, sorry, honey. You married a ponderer and dreamer. Remember, it’s that ability of mine to shut out all else and lay hold of the creative Spirit of God that lets me write songs like the one I sang for our wedding. Remember that? Should I sing it for you? What? What salad dressing do I want? Um, oh, uh, blue cheese, of course. No, wait, how about Tuscan Italian for a change. Thanks, hon!”

What an amazing woman she is; a Proverbs 31 wife through and through.

Huh? What? What do I want to drink? Hmmm … how ‘bout a small glass of milk. Thanks, babe!”

meanderingRetirement is still new to us after 3 years. No longer driven by a list of responsibilities, schedules and appointments, busyness still consumes us at times. As first born children we were both proxy parents since the moment we Continue reading

Bed pan duty*

A year ago, the Lord gave me and the misses a funny lesson about the power of personality. The small country church we attended for several months wanted to revive a helps ministry known as “Community Angels”. The woman spearheading the effort was bubbly and enthusiastic about it and my wife responded with excitement in kind. They met and discussed ideas, eventually coming up with a framework for the ministry and a presentation for the congregation to kick it all off.

"You haven't been using your bed pan, have you, Mr Hopkins!"

The first sign of trouble came when the pastor suggested a change to the presentation; specifically from “What is your God assignment?” to “What is your passion?” The women bristled at the pastor’s suggestion – after all they’re both mature believers who’d prayed and talked at length about this ministry they would found and manage. When the women resisted his suggestion, the pastor tried to pull rank and direct them to change their presentation. The word-smithing tug-of-war went on via email and phone for a day and a half.

Finally my wife told him “Look, I’m passionate about Continue reading

Where’s the off button?

I’ve had enough.

power_switch_350Television lost its appeal years ago when I began to recognize the repetitive and predictable story lines. Canned laugh tracks, musical crescendos and commercial interruptions timed to stimulate viewer excitement, annoyed me even more. And the news programs so obviously crafted to influence my thoughts and monopolize my attention, grieve me deeply. What little news I do get, is from the internet. But the agendas of news web sites are no different than broadcast news.

Not long ago, I read this:

Cable news is a cancer. It is not even news anymore. Whether it’s CNN … FOX, or MSNBC, there is almost no news. The programming is primarily designed to keep you angry and outraged and self-righteous. Cable news also manufactures an alternate reality that doesn’t exist out here in the real world — it’s a propaganda machine designed to influence opinion-makers and most especially lawmakers … Living in the cable news ecosystem completely skews your perspective away from reality and what actually matters — like jobs and security. (LINK)

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Still in love

Gone are the days when I could wile away the hours playing my guitar; responsibility trumps making music. More than a hobby or profession, playing is a means to work out what I’m feeling when words elude me. With everything I need to do in caring for my elderly father and working with my wife to make a home for us, there is no more telltale sign of self neglect, than the dust buildup on my guitar. So when our wedding anniversary rolled around this year, I took my wife and my ‘girlfriend’ Roseanna* to Orcas island.

deck

A place to reconnect

The ferry out of Anacortes to the San Juan islands affords many awe inspiring views as it weaves between the islands. Secluded on 80 acres, our room at the B&B overlooked a working sheep farm, from which the comforters in our room were made. Fresh eggs are collected and served for breakfast together with ripened fruit from the orchard. There is no television in the room; it is a place for rest and to reconnect. Continue reading

Buzzed with wonder

One afternoon last winter, my wife and I stopped for coffee and spotted a hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder above the porch. Surprised by the sight, I asked the barista about it and was told the Anna’s hummingbird winters over here. Once home we found our feeder, mixed a batch of nectar and hung it in front of the bay view window. For several months, there was one hummingbird who visited throughout the day and a single batch of nectar seemed to last indefinitely; that is, until the local hummingbird experts scolded us for not cleaning the feeder and changing nectar regularly.

Hoping to attract more hummingbirds, we added 2 more feeders the first week of June and within the past couple of days, our little outdoor bistro has been “discovered”. It turns out that there are two species of hummingbirds here on the Olympic peninsula, Anna’s, which winter over, and Rufous, which migrate. Daily my wife, our cat Tigger and I, are dazzled by their gravity-defying displays of aerial acrobatics the likes of which any “Top Gun” can only dream.

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