Category Archives: Observations

05.07.2021 – The Death of a Marriage

I know as much about Bill and Melinda Gates as most of us know, which isn’t much.  I know they are very rich and are doing their best to put their money to good use.  That is enough to know to have felt very sad when I read the news of their impending divorce after twenty-seven years of marriage.

I don’t know much about the Gateses or their relationship – not mine to know, but the end of a marriage is a sad thing no matter what the circumstance.

I would not have had much more to say about Monday’s news were it not for a Wednesday headline. If Bill and Melinda Gates can’t make a marriage work, what hope is there for the rest of us? a column in the Washington Post “Relationships” section asked.

It takes a lot to make a marriage work. Marriage is not for the easily discouraged, and only a fool rushes in with advice and suggestions about another’s marriage.  With a certain fear of treading on dangerous ground, then, I offer that there is hope for the rest of us. Continue reading

04.23.2021 – The Death of a Friend

My friend Rein died this past Tuesday.  Some of you knew him and some did not. Those who knew Rein will remember him with a thousand stories and much laughter mingled with our sorrow. Rein was one of those people whose presence filled the room, whose way of doing things was just part of who he was. He made us laugh. The contours of his life from his birth in Nazi-occupied Holland to the loss of a leg as a college athlete to his successes in business and community work to his faithfulness in and to the church are of the stuff that inspire us. His beloved Brenda and their family was always his greatest joy.

Many of us called Rein a friend and, yes, we will remember him with a thousand stories. Continue reading

04.16.2021 – Beautiful Inheritance


One of the psalter readings for the morning comes from Psalm 16:

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Becky and I are in Washington state spending some time with our daughter-in-law Katie an h children while our son Christopher is away at officer training school in preparation for his service as an active duty Air Force chaplain.

We thank God for our beautiful inheritance!

And from the Proverbs:

Proverbs 17:6
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.

My observations for today!


04.09.2021 – Hunter Biden and the Christian Life

They are building new houses all over our neighborhood. Across the street, next door, around the corner in the newest section of the development. Becky and I are active spectators of the sport.  Slab or basement, I’m pretty good at figuring out whether it will be a two-story or single-story house (two-story houses tend to have a smaller footprint). Once the framing is up, we like to walk through the soon-to-be spaces imagining what they will be – master bedroom or living area, den or dining room. And, yes, as construction continues, we can be quite the critics. We would not have chosen that color and that architectural detail is more doodad than not.

The building process always begins with some basic site work and then the forms, footings, and foundation.  Slab or basement, once the foundation is poured, the work stops for a while.  Framing cannot begin until the concrete is cured, and curing takes two weeks or more.  You must have a firm foundation in order to build a trustworthy house.

That’s where Hunter Biden comes in. Continue reading

04.02.2021 – When Middle Schoolers Preach the Good Friday Sermon

Watching the Friday morning chapel service from Hunting Park Christian Academy in Philadelphia has become a helpful habit during this year of the pandemic.

Raising a child in the Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia can be difficult. For more than twenty years, HPCA has offered “an affordable, quality, Christian education that celebrates a diverse community and leads children to know and serve the Lord” to the Hunting Park community. Getting to know HPCA and its work and some of its people was a great joy for Becky and me during our time in the Philadelphia area.

Pre-covid, I might make it to an HPCA chapel service once or twice a year. I would leave thinking I ought to go more often, and then I never did.

HPCA quickly and amazingly adopted a virtual education strategy last spring at the beginning of the pandemic and has been using a creative hybrid model for its classes throughout this academic year.  Only half the students are in the building on any given day, so chapel has remained a virtual event which is particularly good for people who live 600 miles away. Continue reading