Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sunday morning as I drove across a bridge north of the village, I caught a glimpse of the river bank reflected in the water. The reflection impacted me. Why did it seem even more special than the actual shoreline? Then I began to reflect on a scene in my spirit that had impressed me earlier that morning. It concerned releasing control.

I'm more comfortable driving than being a passenger, but I am willing to move over and let someone else drive. I give up control of the vehicle and trust another person with my life. We constantly put our trust in other people in many different situations. We put our trust in a variety of objects. For instance we sit in a chair and trust that it will support us. We place confidence in humans and in material things without fear. Why are we hesitant to place complete trust in the One who created and loves us?

In the 40 years since I first chose to trust the Lord with my life, He has been so patient while I slowly learn to loosen my grip and allow Him to take control - of my circumstances, of my time, of my finances, of every aspect of my life. It still tickles me to see the great way He engineers all of it, presenting solutions and arrangements I could never have come up with. Perhaps joy enhances many memories when I look back making the reflection even better than the original event? 

In any case as I mulled over this matter of releasing control, I realized when I refuse to let go I'm surrendering to fear. I'm still not in control, and instead of giving the situation over to the One who wants to give me His best, I'm actually letting the enemy, the one who wants me to be afraid, take over. I've made the decision, but I'm still not truly in control. The ripples disappeared. The smooth surface of the water offered a crystal clear image. God loves me. He wants to look after me and He is oh so able. Best yet, He has no favourites. He's just as eager to do this for everyone. If you have not yet made a choice on this issue, maybe I've given you something to reflect on?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why "Beech Croft"?

Get comfy. Want to get you settled into Beech Croft.

A croft is a very small farm. Underline very. Farther back than I can remember, a mean Shetland pony named Joey had a stall in the brown barn. My oldest brother, Paul, bought chicks each spring. They grew to replace the current batch of egg-makers which, in turn, were promoted to main course features for Sunday dinners. To deliver the eggs around our village, Paul loaded cartons on the cart behind Joey who behaved better in harness than when either of the boys tried to ride him. Dad and my brothers also raised dogs. The boys had hounds. Dad raised cocker spaniels. Plus a succession of single canines came and went - an Irish Retriever, a Dalmatian, a Golden Retriever, a Spaniel/Collie mix. Some even gained access to the people house.

One of Mom’s stories was about my brother, Hugh, asking the meaning of “confusion”. Her answer was, “When I’m trying to make dinner and you two and your Dad and the puppies are in the kitchen, that’s ‘confusion’.”

The rest of the livestock consisted of a barn cat that, judging by his wounds, survived some vicious battles, and two rabbits noted for the brevity of their stay. Mom traded them, hutch and all, to a chap for a bunch of prize-winning gladiolas – a bouquet of cut flowers for two rabbits and their cage!

So much for the “croft”. As for “beech”, there was a young beauty growing in the south corner of the front yard, except I’d learned from Mom that it was a lemon tree. When preparing food for a family who loved to eat, she wasn’t one to take any chances on ruining it by letting me in on the mixing. I was eager to crank that dover beater, fascinated by the transformation of egg whites into foamy froth.

“I’m making lemon-snow,” she said. “You can make your own.” She gave me a high glass container, poured in some water and let me crank the dover beater. No transformation. No froth. “You’d better go get some lemons,” she said, “from the lemon tree.”

Even as a pre-schooler I was pretty sure there was no tree with lemons anywhere close. But Mom had a way about her. I don’t remember whether she told me to pretend. In any case, she convinced me. I picked “beech leaf lemons” and beat them up in that water. It was the sorriest looking mess. Those kids in the ally on-line banking commercials - I know exactly how they feel. I’d been had. It wasn’t right. Still the young beauty in the south corner remained a lemon tree for some time.

Mom was a widow when my brother, Hugh, gave her a copper beech to plant by the brown barn. She thought she wouldn’t live long enough to see it grow. The years zipped by and that tree became so large the rhubarb along the side of the barn couldn’t get enough sunshine to amount to anything, but the beauty of the sheen on those copper leaves in sunlight was worth it. Mom watched that tree mature and we had extra justification to name this patch of God’s earth “Beech Croft.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Running late, but I'm off...

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. NLT

    The significance of this “brevity of life” thing packs a greater wallop as the years zip by. We put projects off for a later day until the revelation unfolds:  Sister, the “later day” is here! Room for procrastination has passed.

    Increased wisdom is to be coupled with this realization. Over the years interesting opportunities popped up that I passed on to others, or maybe even began to take a run at myself. As some of the busyness of family and work obligations slip away, so do the reasons for not committing time and energy to tackle and complete a challenge or two.

    So… this Caleb wants a crack at conquering her mountain of opportunity. I want to remove myself from the pessimistic ten who focused on the gigantic obstacles, and join the two who saw the huge possibilities – with God. Thankfully, I’m not close to 85 as Caleb was when the promised land was being divided up (Joshua 14:6-13), but I have completed a precious, often uphill, forty year faith journey. I’m hoping you’ll stop by when you have a moment. Maybe you’ll be inspired to begin some new venture that you’ve been saving for the right time too?