Monday Prayer Requests

Going to do the prayer requests for a few weeks and we’ll see what happens after the start of the year. I don’t want it to be forced, but at the same time I like the opportunity to mention some requests.


* Riley My friend’s son in Vancouver. He is still in the hospital doing treatments after the last attack. They have somewhat changed the diagnosis, and now it looks like Riley may have a condition that will impact him for life. He is 7 years old. Please pray for Riley and for his mom Nancy as well as the whole family.

*Erunner’s nephew  he is in Afghanistan. Praying for his safety.

*Kevin Another friend from PP who has struggled for a long season with pain and the drs have not been able to come up with solutions or diagnosis.

*Reuben: Needing to close on a house quickly. Praying for it to happen before Thanksgiving!!!

*Noelle: Her husband found work (wonderful, thankful!) but it is far from home and he will be gone long lengths of time.

* Those struggling this holiday season. We all know that there are many around us who struggle during the holiday season. Some have a difficult time expressing this. If you want some insights, please read this article.  Randall Slack was involved in the Phoenix Preacher blog, is a pastor an has personal understanding. It is worth reading…and then praying and keeping our eyes open this season to those around us.


So very thankful for a good trip to NM. Maddie is the wonder-girl, which I already knew, but she is also a wonder-traveler. She made friends on every flight. She made Grandma smile lots and has Grandpa firmly wrapped around her finger. It was a delight to be with the NM clan during Thanksgiving, and I found that my sister-in-law Stacy is a fantastic cook and I like red chili sauce on turkey!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can feel the stress of Christmas sneaking in, and am determined to not be overcome by it. We have lots going on with parties and school performances and school parties…and a trip to the cabins in Gatlinburg! I think we might have been crazy to add that, but I also am hoping it will be a great relaxing time in the midst of the season.


Please post any prayer requests you have.


Finding Places of Silence

This picture was taken on my folks’ place in Colorado. We had seen the deer a ways from the house and Dad told me to jump on the snowmobile an we would go try to get pictures.  I jumped on behind him, holding on to the snowmobile with one hand and the camera with the other. His camera. His nice camera.

I checked the speedometer one time and was surprised to know how quickly we could get up to 50 miles an hour. We found the spot the deer had dodged into the brush by the river and followed them on foot. I felt like a National Geographic photographer. Except my pictures were not completely in focus. Still, I did get this one and I never dropped the camera, so I’m happy.

This place is a place of peace. The deer come through and graze, even coming up to the house to munch on the apples from the apple tree. Dad has buried a few of his beloved pets under the apple trees. There is a river that runs through the property and the sunsets are wonderful. For the most part the place is quiet. It is easy to steal away to the river, or even just out to the porch, and collect your thoughts.

My house isn’t quite like this. There are, I believe, 17 children and youth under the age of 17 on our cul-de-sac. There are lots of neighborhood dogs. Who like to bark. There are x-box games and computer games and soccer games and glorious games played only in the mud. There is noise. Lots of noise. There is no river to sit beside and no easy access to quiet.

And yet sometimes I am very aware of that need for a moment of silence. Madeleine L’Engle (yes, her again!) tells it this way:

“Vacuum cleaners are simply something more for me to trip over; and a kitchen floor, no matter how grubby, looks better before I wax it. The sight of a meal’s worth of dirty dishes, pots, and pans makes me want to run in the other direction. Every so often I need OUT; something will throw me into total disproportion, and I have to get away from everybody – away from all these people I love most in the world – in order to regain a sense of proportion.”

I have those moments.  I can’t explain them, but I need the space and I need the time to simply be, without any requirements. To regain a sense of proportion.

Jesus did this, yes? He knew the need to be alone with His Father. He knew the need to protect Himself from being completely depleted. When we don’t protect ourselves from that, we become useless.

When I am not selfish for that time, I find that I become irritable and frustrated and tend to bark rather than speak. I’m useless.

I wish that I had the river my parents have in the backyard. Or the creek that L’Engle goes on to describe as her place to get away from everything. I do have a greenway and a creek that is within walking distance. I also have a back porch with the same sky L’Engle gazed at and that overlooks my parents’ river. I have to be a little more creative…but the silence and places of re-proportioning are there.

How about you? How do we find these touchstones in our world today….in the busyness and noise of our lives? In the cul-de-sacs that are filled with noisy children and barking dogs and lack of peaceful rivers? And how do we teach our children that this is as important as finishing the next level on the x-box?

Guardians of our heritage

I just picked up the new biography on Bonhoeffer, hoping to read it as I go to New Mexico for Thanksgiving. I sat down at Barnes and Noble with my coffee and thought I would get through the first couple chapters.

I didn’t make it past the quotation that begins chapter 1.

“The rich world of his ancestors set the standards for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s own life. It gave him a certainty of judgment and manner that cannot be acquired in a single generation. He grew up in a family that believed the essence of learning lay not in a formal education but in the deeply rooted obligation to be guardians of a great historical heritage and intellectual tradition.” Eberhard Bethge

This resonated so deeply with me. I’ve been a little frustrated with education with the boys, and although they are in a great little Christian school where they are cared for and taught, there is a depth missing and haven’t been able to put my finger on. It is nothing against the school…this is it. To approach education not as an obligation to whiz through the elementary learning and find what we like so we can be somewhat happy in a career…but to approach learning as an obligation to our heritage.

Bonhoeffer had some pretty great heritage, apparently.

Well. So do we.  In our family, our youngest boy Samuel takes his middle name Howard from his great-great grandfather, Howard Beacham. He was a lawman and judge and prohibitionist in New Mexico. He was a larger-than-life personality. I’ve grown up with the stories. We are also somehow related to William the Conqueror and Sir Francis Bacon. Yep.

My father’s family came from Switzerland. They were hard working and smart. And fun. Barn dances and flying planes, skating on frozen ponds.


So do you, I bet. The grandfather who fought in the WWII. The uncle who loved history and can tell you about the intricacies of your lineage. The great-great-grandfather who changed the course of your family.

It’s more than that, though. I was so struck by this approach to learning as being an obligation to our heritage, and that means our spiritual heritage.

That means Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

That means J.I. Packer.

That means Madeleine L’Engle.

That means C.S. Lewis and Spurgeon and Luther and Calvin.

That means knowing about grand people who lived deeply and thought deeply and invested. Not wasting that investment.

So, we are thinking seriously of homeschooling this coming year, mainly because it is becoming more and more difficult to pay for three kids in a private school. I’m starting to feel those stirrings, though, of something deeper to this homeschooling. Something to do with being a guardian of an investment, a guardian of a heritage.

Knowing who we are and why we are.  Knowing more than the abc’s and math.

Knowing our stories.  Back to stories….back to dinner tables and conversations and being aware.

I’ll be listening maybe a little more closely to the conversations around the table tomorrow, because I’m sure there will be a few stories shared.  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. Look around you while you are in the midst of your world. What investment has been made that you can become a guardian of your heritage?

Monday Prayer Requests

Well, for a few years I’ve been involved with a blog called The Phoenix Preacher, mainly helping with the prayer thread. That blog has gone quiet for a season, and one of the things I miss is being able to post prayer requests there.

So, we’ll see. This week I’m going to post some prayer requests, and if you have one, feel free to post as well. We’ll start the list fresh each week, and if there is enough comments I’ll keep it going for the PP here. You can also post prayer requests at Dusty’s.

For today, a few pretty significant prayer requests:

* Michael N.  as he starts his first full week back at work after a long season unemployed. Praying for all the details of transitions with that, very great, new chapter.

*Riley. This is the son of a friend back in Canada. Back in early July one morning they woke up hearing Riley fall drop a cup of water. They went to find him crying, unable to talk in more than a slur and paralyzed on his left side. This started 17 days in Children’s Hospital, then going home and seeming to be okay only to go back to the hospital two weeks later with Riley in extreme pain. He was in for over two weeks again and diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis or (ADEM).  It is basically an autoimmune reaction to a virus or infection that instead of fighting that, the body turned on itself causing an intense attack on his Central Nervous System. They’ve been home most of November. Well, yesterday morning he started feeling dizzy, headache and weak. They watched through the night hoping for flu, but are headed back to the hospital this morning. I think Riley is 8…he’s close to the age of my Nate.

*Maddie and me..traveling to NM on Thanksgiving day. Early. Have to be at the airport by about 5:45. Ugh.

*Nonnie praying for this friend from the PP blog who is in the US visiting her mom and daughter. Nonnie is a missionary in England and her mom is fighting cancer and her daughter, who is a mom herself, is still recovering from a badly broken leg.

*Erunner’s nephew  he is in Afghanistan. Praying for his safety.

*Kevin Another friend from PP who has struggled for a long season with pain and the drs have not been able to come up with solutions or diagnosis.

*Reuben: Needing to close on a house quickly. Praying for it to happen before Thanksgiving!!!

*Noelle: Her husband found work (wonderful, thankful!) but it is far from home and he will be gone long lengths of time. Praying for them, especially this week with Thanksgiving, for the time to pass quickly and for Noelle’s strength as a single parent for this time.

How about you? Any requests to add?