Coffee With Gary

I met Pastor Gary Miller last week at a nearby coffee shop. Isaiah 30 came up. He said he would be preaching on it next Sunday. That might be why our conversation centered around the battle imagery.

Either way, we gathered around a kind of flagpole, confessing our rebellion and oppression.

We talked about the difficult paths. Those behind us. And those ahead.

Here, Gary turns and leans his back against the brick wall. His white hair is long, tousled over like a prophet’s. He keeps that dark jacket on, but not because he’s anxious to leave. He simply sat down and wore what he came here wearing.

Gary is that kind of guy.

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I used to talk to myself a lot during my college years. Maybe I had too much time on my hands. But our conversations were sometimes illuminating. 

It was a sunny day, early in the fall semester. I sat beside a window on the library’s top floor. My limbs weighed heavy with pressing questions, the ones about distant destinations. From my oversized chair, I saw how the laurel oaks were shedding their leaves and already covering up paths. Was one of them mine?
I wanted out of that library.
The weight of my books didn’t matter. Back then, I needed only a single leather strap over my shoulder to tote around everything that mattered. My blue Jansport fit like a good home, still mobile enough for me to move.

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What’s Cooking?

Freedom takes a long time to bake, doesn’t it? And its smell fills our homes like a slow-roasted turkey or ham.

But it starts out raw. Yes, even like a carcass.

For centuries, God’s people had been starving in a desert of their own making. They hungered for liberation. They craved a table set for a king.

But once He arrived in Bethlehem, the meal didn’t look too much like a feast. In fact, He seemed to embrace the confinement of a wooden trough, a place setting for an animal. Not for royalty.

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“Prepare Ye The Way”

Photos by Lynne Zehr

A large crowd gathers downtown to share a time of waiting. Surrounded by the soft glow of downtown store marquees and Christmas lights, friends and strangers come to huddle and sing around an unlit tree.

These friends and strangers, it turns out, all play an important part. They’re on a rescue mission, whether they know it or not.

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Seeking Treasure

Sometimes I feel out of place. Sometimes I feel flat and emaciated. Sometimes my spirit just feels sprawled out across the garage floor like an old, dusty kite.

Thin. Mangled. And not very fun.

Not long ago I opened the garage door and saw one lying on the floor like a corpse. Continue reading

Digging for Vision

I set this blog site up a good while back without knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it. I’ve never done the blog-writer circuit. Well, not exactly. Back in 2003, I think, I started writing posts on a Christian dating website. I had started writing daily posts that focused on discovering and noticing moments of goodness throughout my day. At the time, I had never heard of the concept of a blog. Regardless, I had started asking myself at that time a useful and illuminating question: What was the best thing — or at least something genuinely good — that happened today? And then I started asking other people the same question. The stories were fascinating and good for the soul. Continue reading