Family Notes 22/07/2015

THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. CAN JESUS SURVIVE RELIGION? One of the great strengths of the Christian faith has been its ability to endure, accommodate, and use the cultural shifts across the centuries without losing its essence. Even in its most misguided forms, the Christian religion has continued to pass along its central message about … [Read more...]

Family Notes 15/07/2015

THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. TRUE HUMILITY If someone tells you that somebody else is saying awful things about you, don't defend yourself against the accusations, but reply, "He must not know about the other faults that I have, if these are the only ones he mentioned." -- Epictetus, Enchiridion. LOVE, NOT TERROR Increasingly, believers … [Read more...]

Family Notes 08/07/2015

THE EIGHTH DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. YOUR FEEDBACK ON PERSPECTIVE The gracEmail for July 5 titled "Perspective" touched on the influence of Christianity in America. Not surprisingly, it generated even more feedback than usual. Following is a sample of your … [Read more...]

Family Notes 01/07/2015

THE FIRST DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. GRAND ADVENTURE TRUMPS NOT-SO-FRIENDLY SKIES Two Sundays ago, wife Sara Faye and I were scheduled to depart Houston at 7:15 a.m. for Chicago, change planes at O'Hare for a short hop northeast over to Traverse City, Michigan, then drive 30-45 minutes to our destination, Northport Bay Retreat. There were thirty-seven of us, … [Read more...]

THIN PLACES

Sometime during our lives we all will likely experience a moment so transcendently beautiful that time seems to freeze and the world stands still. The trigger for such a moment can take a thousand forms: a piece of music or a work of art; great literature read aloud; the contemplation of pure math. More often it is the scent of honeysuckle, a perfect sunset, or the face of a child. Marital … [Read more...]

THIN PLACES

Sometime during our lives we all will likely experience a moment so transcendently beautiful that time seems to freeze and the world stands still. The trigger for such a moment can take a thousand forms: a piece of music or a work of art; great literature read aloud; the contemplation of pure math. More often it is the scent of honeysuckle, a perfect sunset, or the face of a child. Marital … [Read more...]

TRIP TO PERU

TRIP TO PERU Edward Fudge Imagine three Californias and you visualize the size of Peru, where people already lived busy lives when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees. The Incas were its best-known inhabitants, ruling and thriving from approximately 1,200 A.D. until the Spaniards slaughtered Tupac Amaru, the last Inca ruler, in 1572. This is the land of Machu Picchu ("ancient peak"), the lost … [Read more...]

REFLECTIONS FROM THE COCKPIT

REFLECTIONS FROM THE COCKPIT Edward Fudge I pull the seatbelt snugly in place and adjust the earphones. Spread before me are 30 gauges and dials, 50 toggle switches and a dozen other electrical controls. I am sitting in the co-pilot's seat of a nine-passenger Mitsubishi twin-engine turbo-prop on a business trip. My only job is to keep my arms and legs out of the way while Earl, the pilot, … [Read more...]

EARLY MORNING SPRING

EARLY MORNING SPRING Edward Fudge Now that Springtime 1997 has come to Houston, I am trying a new exercise regimen. Rather than walking in the evening, I like to face the outdoors head-on at about 6:00 a.m. My neighborhood trek takes about an hour and covers three miles. The first mile is thoroughly residential. The next passes a couple of schools separated by soccer fields and baseball … [Read more...]

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH Edward Fudge Cedar logs crackle in the stone fireplace as their unmistakable scent wafts throughout the cabin. Firelight shadows dance on the ceiling and walls. Human voices speak softly concerning loved ones and matters of mutual concern. Somewhere outside, a pack of coyotes howl at the moon. We step onto the front deck and gaze upward. Millions of stars bespeckle the … [Read more...]