Who’s smarter?

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It’s truly ironic that the Catch I wrote yesterday in which I revealed that my hesitancy to share a Catch with my wife usually means it’s not that good, is one that you wouldn’t have seen, had I shared it with her first. And as I look over that Catch today, I realize why. It carries an undertone that Marti is not as smart as me, but I need to treat her as if she were, anyway. It’s horribly placating in tone.

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Learning from everybody

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My wife is my foremost critic when it comes to my writing and I am aware of a little dance I play with this. If I don’t want to have her look over something I’ve written it usually an indication it isn’t very good. Subconsciously I know that if I share it with her, she will confirm to me what I fear – that it isn’t very good – and I will have to do it over. On the other hand, when I want to share something with her, it usually means I don’t need to because I know it’s good.

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Guy in crosswalk

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In California, pedestrians rule. The pedestrian always has the right of way in a crosswalk. The minute you put your foot in a crosswalk, you are protected by the law. All cars must stop.

I was driving near my home on Pacific Coast Highway when a lone pedestrian stepped into a crosswalk right when it required me to lean heavily on my brakes in order to stop in time. He was a tall, capable young man who was either totally aware of what he was doing, or simply not paying attention. He was definitely old enough to be a driver and had he been thinking like a driver, he wouldn’t have stepped into the street at precisely that moment.

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‘Take it personally’

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I have spent a good deal of time lately helping one of Marti’s friends care for her bedridden husband. When he was active, he was pretty hard-nosed, very opinionated and a man of a few words, but those words were loud and boisterous, and sometimes offensive. Like many people with a hard outer shell, there is a soft spot inside known mostly to his wife, and I see it on occasion.

Since a fall and an operation gone wrong about a year ago, he’s been on his back with little movement and not much speech beyond “Yep,” and “Nope.” All his life he’s loved books and their house is full of them. His wife reads to him from the morning paper when he’ll let her. He used to like audio books, but now prefers silence. That’s why I was surprised when I offered to read to him and he didn’t say no.

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The preeminence of love and understanding

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Love understands.

Part of loving someone is to attempt to understand them. If someone who is opposed to Christianity for whatever reason determines that you are seeking to understand them for no other reason than to know them better, they will feel loved.

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When bad things happen

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When bad things happen to people, some people get better, and some people get worse. It’s not the things that cause it, it’s the people who are already confirmed in who they are who reflect their true self in and through the things that happen to them. We are all being shaped by the events around us, but we are not passive to the process. We seem to always want to blame our reactions on the things that happen, but our reactions are just that — they are our reactions. Our reactions are what we are responsible for. Who we are and what we are becoming are confirmed by our reaction to the events that happen to us, they are not created by them. They are just events. We are not responsible for the events that happen, but we are responsible for our reactions to these events. Life can break you down, or life can make you stronger — depending on how you react to it.

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News from the front lines

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And now some words from some of our Catch members we have been praying for who were in or near the path of Hurricane Irma.

Sandie and Bobbie write that they came through Irma in one piece. Lost their power about 7:30 at night and endured a steamy, noisy night. Generator ran most of today until power was restored about 3:30 the next afternoon. Their two sons and their families came through with little damage but still are without power.

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The morning after

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This morning I’m thinking about those people who lost everything in Texas, Florida, California, Oregon or Mexico, but the news cameras have moved on to some new disaster somewhere else in the world. For many of us who watched, it’s already forgotten. A couple days ago, we were riveted to our TVs. We could hardly carry on normal life because the round-the-clock coverage kept pulling at our emotions. We felt with the people; we heard their stories; we wondered what would happen to them. Everywhere we turned there were interviews, maps of the approaching hurricane, charts about earlier storms in history, and predictions about how bad this one was going be. And when the storm finally hit, there were news reporters only a few streets apart telling us what the storm looked like from their vantage point.

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