Poetry and Music for October

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

Jesus as Host: Hospitality in the Ministry of Jesus

Forty years ago this fall, I rolled into Walla Walla as a new faculty member. That’s a marker worth celebrating. The only people I really knew then were Dale and Wilma Hepker, but when I arrived on campus with all my worldly goods stashed in a moving van, I was full of hope that I would find a home here, a community I could be a part of. Helen Evans Zolber had explained something of the challenge. “There is really not a lot to do around here,” she said, “so we have to entertain each other.”

Seeing the World through Jesus

My daughter keeps forgetting her glasses. It’s inconceivable to me how she could. I’ve been wearing glasses since 4th grade. Without them, my world is a blurry mess. But she seems quite happy to go about her life with a fuzzy view of the world.

Now and again it causes problems. She can miss directional signs when she’s trying to find her way somewhere. She can’t read everything her teacher writes on the board. Even still, she seems much less worried about where her glasses are than I am.

The Election and My Vote

If you live in the United States in 2016, you can hardly take a trip to the water cooler without being asked, "Who are you going to vote for?" Even interested individuals and commentators in other countries cannot keep from expressing their views on the topic even though their stake in the election is zero. If you have been involved in previous presidential elections, you may have experienced what is called buyer's remorse – the regret that comes from hopes and expectations unrealized, and maybe worse, revulsion for your former choice for president.

Isaiah the Candidate

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

Portrait of Love

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be.

Book Review: "The Listening Life"

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim . . . .”1

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations . . . .”2

“Therefore go . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”3

Poetry and Music for September

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

Burn the Witch

If I can target the problem, I can turn chaos into order.
If I can find the contaminating element, I can get rid of it.
If I can discover who is to blame, I can eliminate her, sacrifice him, or torture them.

Poetry and Music for August

The bee is not afraid of me,
I know the butterfly;
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.

The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer’s day?

“The bee is not afraid of me” by Emily Dickinson


“Summer” composed by Joe Hisaishi

Facing doubt image

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