Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Stepping Out from the Umbrella of Grace

We took a trip to the Far East…of Maine. There we visited the, ironically, West Quoddy Light. The next day we enjoyed the power of the Reversing Falls as the tide rushed in. A little while later we stood as miniscule people in proportion to a huge Cruise ship docked at Eastport. Corona virus brought her to a stand-still. The docking fee is $50,000 a month. It’s a win-win for the people of Eastport. They get help with their new pier costs and if a natural disaster should strike, the entire population can fit onboard!

One can’t play all week so we headed home by way of a road less traveled. We drove there by way of Rte 1 with quaint towns and much traffic. We went home by way of Rte 9 into Bangor. It was beautiful scenery as we made our way down out of mountainous range gazing at the valleys stretching out below us. The road was wide and well cared for and less traveled.

As we approached Bangor to its northeast great black ominous clouds piled up like a mountain range of its own. Occasional raindrops crashed on our windshield. We pulled into town and found food at a drive through. Then we got out of Dodge heading southwest. But one cannot eat a well dressed chicken sandwich with barbecue sauce and drive. We pulled into a rest area, and so did the rain!
 After eating, the restrooms beckoned. I pulled out my umbrella, opened the door, raised the umbrella and pushed the button. As I stepped under its circle of grace I noticed two things. First how the rain surrounded me like a curtain and secondly that the rain was a warm summer rain. I experimented with tilting the umbrella this way and that but concluded it was best straight over me.

I began to muse how it is to walk under an umbrella of grace. It’s not that the rain does not touch us or affect us, but that we are adequately protected. It walks with us. It can tilt according to our needs as we walk along. How like walking with Jesus in our heart. He is both a historical reality and a spiritual living dynamic that does life with us. Life can touch us and affect us but we are adequately protected.

Imagine with me I am tired of the constraints of grace. After all I am not completely protected from life. A wind gust might make things difficult or a misplaced umbrella might let my back get somewhat wet. Besides, the rain is warm and I just saw some other people playing in the rain. So bit by bit I abandon my place under grace. 

Indeed the concept of boundaries and consequence becomes the problem for me. I begin to prefer to build my umbrella out of the god of tolerance. Everybody do whatever they wish, well to some degree. But an unintended consequence comes with my new philosophy. I find I am offended by certain things and others are offended by what doesn’t offend me. So it seems good to remove the visible signs of boundaries. I remember praying at a public school graduation just one day after the ruling against prayer. The local Catholic Priest and I were the last to ever pray over students going out into the world. It would be offensive. We see battles over the Ten Commandments and other visual reminders of a right and a wrong to life. So we live our lives on the basis of offensive vs. non-offensive and the media trumpets popular opinion vs. contrary opinion in 2 minute sound bites, whatever sells better. And we watch as the news tells us how trustworthy they are as they all broadcast the same stories with varying opinions.

The umbrella which was once grace is now the law of unintended consequences. The restless tide of popular opinion creates a roaring fall as it goes out and does the same as it returns. It’s twisting current writhes and circles seemingly without reason.  Who can say what is right and what is wrong? “I discovered God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. I observed everything going on under the sun, and really it is all absurd without meaning – like a chasing of the wind.” So we thought to ourselves “let’s rewrite the rules. Let’s change the labels and life will be better.”Ecc.1:13-14
We are discovering the boundaries of grace are neither weak nor wimpy. Right and wrong is not just a matter of interpretation according to who is in the driver’s seat. Grace is massive. There is a radical wildness about it orchestrated and driven by the Creator. The matter of opinion concerning offense does not determine its character nor its judgments. To enter this place, to become a Christ one, one must become a man to whom something has happened. He is offended: by his own heart and behavior. He cries out for a new heart, a transplant brought about by God’s Radical Acceptance in Christ Jesus no Exceptions.

The ominous towers of deep black layers and layers of clouds are gathering just to our northwest. Flashes appear in them. Lightening back-lights some cloud peaks. Rumbling is in the distance. The wind is picking up. Fat rain drop are precursor of the massive storm on its way. What umbrella what road what rest stop will you find in the midst of your storm?

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Problem of Eternity in our Hearts

About a week ago I had to visit an oral surgeon. Jeff made me go.On the basis of cost and experience I decided to only have local anesthetic. After all I had done it once when I was young. As I slid into the chair I asked the Lord if he could just make it come out easily, but if not to grant me strength and patience. It did not pop out yet I had an unusual calmness and strength of patience as he worked with various tools to “git r done.”
As I reflected back on the experience I thought of the various questions that could have come to mind: 
  • Why didn’t it go easier? (It would have saved money)
  • Didn’t you care about my pain? 
  • Do you really listen? Do you really care?
  • Isn’t there a payoff for being a Christian?
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  •  I just want to know?
I thought about another place of questions, questions for the one who was made in the image of God, one whose only boundary was not to eat of one tree in the whole of the garden. 
  • "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?"
  •  Of course not, it's only the one tree that has consequence. Eat there and we will die.
  • "No way. You won't die." God just said that because he didn't want you to know everything he does. He'd rather keep you in a box, a goody two-shoes.

I thought of another place of questions, questions in the wilderness in the midst of great need.
  • If you are the Son of God (prove your identity);Make bread miraculously (use of scripture)
    Jump from the temple (misuse of scripture by the tempter and scripture to correct) 
  • Now a slight change in the question: If you will kneel (I will give you all the kingdoms of the world) Get lost! (Correct use of Scripture)
Which brought me to 1 Jn. 2:15-17: “Do not love the world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers ONLY a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who pleases God will live forever.”

“Do not make the measuring stick” for the fullness of your life, the world and the things within it.
It cancels out the love of the Father (Think Cancel Culture)
Here’s the problem: When the measuring stick of our heart is:The Craving for physical pleasure

  • The Craving for physical pleasure
  • The Craving for everything we see
  • Pride is based on our achievements
  • Pride is based on what we own
  • We live in a power base system of comparison.
We demand the world give us what it cannot. Because of eternity in our hearts our deepest desires cannot be met by anything the world is, let alone has. When we can’t get what we desire – we blame the design and ultimately the Designer.

This conclusion takes us to Ecclesiastes 1-3.
Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Everything is meaningless (absurd),” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless (absurd)”
  • Eccl. Identifies 10 common measuring sticks for the “good life”: Wisdom, work, possessions, status, companionship, fame, money, long life, food and desire.
  • The Teacher searches for life’s meaning and each of these areas, denying himself nothing in pursuit of wisdom.
  • Each time he comes up against a wall of absurdity: meaningless, illogical outcome –it makes no sense.
  • These things are of the earth and cannot fill the hunger for the eternal in our hearts.
The Burden God has given to men’s hearts: Eccl. 3:10 “I have seen the burden God has placed on 
            us all."
  • Life does what life does and we do not know when it will do what. Eccl.3:1-8
  • God has made everything beautiful in its own time. Eccl.3:11a
  • We're made with eternity in our hearts and can't know the end from the beginning.(scope) 3:11b
  • God made it that way so that we would seek him. Eccl. 3:14b 
  • God’s purpose is that people should seek him.”
Ecclesiastes and John 1 agree.
                The world and all that is in it is unable to fill the deepest longing of our heart.
The Teacher concludes the world and all that is within it can “give no more than the ability to enjoy than to enjoy food and drink and find satisfaction in our work. Then I realized even these pleasures are from the hand of the Lord. For who can enjoy anything apart from him?” Eccl. 2:24-25; 3:12-13

Did you notice all the questions and questioning in the relationship between us and God? Questions are the key to open our hearts, man’s heart. Satan clearly knows this. The Teacher clearly knows this. Jesus clearly knows this. Socrates clearly knows this. Altar invitations clearly know this. Science clearly knows this. All of life knows this. But beware. All questioners and questions are not created equal. Notice some questions are capable of begging the question, aiming you to a specific logical trap. Jesus was a master at answering what lay at the heart of the question. Let the Spirit of God and his Word teach you the skill of pausing to think behind the question and to answer out of a heart living in Christ Jesus and bathed in the Word. Remember:

“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure.
 But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving,

“Faith is not a precarious affair of chance escape from Satanic assault.
It is the solid, massive secure experience of God,
who keeps all evil from getting inside us, who guards our life,
who guards us when we leave and when we return,
who guards us now, who guards us always.”
A Long Obedience in the Right Direction – Peterson. p.44.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

God Questions Us

God said to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic but do you have any answers?” Job 40:2  In one of the oldest books Ecclesiastes 1:2, 8 I told you how short sighted your wisdom is “Everything is absurd, says the Teacher, “completely absurd…Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” In 1 John 2:16 I told you “for the world offers only craving for every physical pleasure, craving for everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions.” We hunger for value, worth and meaning but things cannot deliver our deepest want. We are like the following true story.
I was in college and going to work in downtown Boston. I hopped on the subway in Wollaston. A gentleman sat diagonally from me near the pole and door on the opposite side. The doors closed and we started off. He began to holler, “Let me outta here. Let me outta here.” As the train slowed down and prepared to stop, he quit hollering. The doors opened and he didn’t get out. The doors closed, the train started up and so did he. “Let me outta here, let me outta here.” And so the alcoholic entertainment continued until I got off at Downtown Crossing. I guess he didn’t know what he wanted. He may still be riding!
Every culture differentiates the sacred from the secular and has terminology to make that distinction. Check out some of the current terminology: Hedgemonic power, racism, oppression, microaggressions, heteronormativity, patriarchy, cisgender privilege, intersectionality etc., These words are driven by a philosophy originating in the 1930’s called Critical Theory. (shenviapologetics.com Intro to Critical Theory)  Though you won’t recognize some of these terms, this system of thought is behind much of the justification for current cultural thought. Since we not in philosophy class look at the following practical description:  “For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” 2 Tim.3:2-4  In due season fancy words will not conceal the condition of the heart, because behavior makes it plain.
Listen with your confused heart as Amos( 5:7-11; 6:4-7) peels back the greedy heart of power. “You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses. How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth. You trampled on the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. You will not benefit…How terrible for you who sprawl and lounge about eating tender meats of choice cuts. You sing trivial songs and fancy you are great musicians. You drink bowlfuls of wine and perfume yourselves! You Care Nothing About The Ruin Of Your Nation…suddenly all your parties will end.”
A second true story. I was again in Downtown Crossing in Boston and it was very busy. A man came up to me with a very sad story of need and wanted money to get to the Salvation Army for food. I pointed out that he didn’t need the fare because we were inside the turnstiles. In fact I offered to go with him. He walked away. After a bit he came back and poked me with his elbow. “Watch this,” he said. “There’s a girl with that guy over there and he’ll give me something because she is with him.” I drifted along behind him so I could hear. I was amazed to hear the same spiel word for word, intonation for intonation as he spun his tale of need and hunger. To his amazement and my amusement the girls said, “No. Get out of here you bum.” I guess he was having a bad day at work.
If you read in Amos or in 1 John after listening to the news, scanning social media, looking at news clips from various sources, you will be amazed at the accuracy of these books. There will be a new awareness that our country and our individual lives are without a God driven compass. Right is wrong, wrong is right, up is down and down is up, freedom is restricted and the reality of power abuse characterizes our immediate times.
What does God want? Amos said it this way: Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. 5:14-15
As a people and as elected leadership we have forgotten or are actively rejecting the reality of objective standards of right and wrong. We allow words, philosophies, and political debate to render us powerless refusing to hold people of all colors, economic levels, political persuasions, nationalities accountable to basic standards of moral behavior.  We have no common moral standard for we have rid ourselves of God. The concept of God as the source of right and wrong is set aside for a far weaker concept of “if it isn’t all fixed nothing is fixed.” We have not learned the basic spirit of anti christ is driven by half truths and presenting darkness as light. So it seems we no longer know what to do and we are immobilized. Media aids in moral paralysis by dismissing objective standards as obsolete. In the face of their investigative journalism and experience they are worldly wise, cynical and skeptical. This perspective is supposed to give superior wisdom because like the commercial they “know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two.” When pressed with knowledge and insight, they have no answers. Their analysis tool is blame and shame for it brings money to the game. In the end, all things are meaningless and absurd. We the people focus on trivialities and surface wounds while discounting the deeper truer underlying disease.
 When pandemics come, when corruption in high places is evident, when power brokering replaces common sense, when blood runs in the street, we find we have sprayed graffiti on the truth:
The Sovereign God will have accountability. God desires intimacy with us and will give us a very real life with him without exploitation. Our world’s hungry heart desires intimacy with God, if there is a God, but the desire is to exploit him for their gain. In the three temptations of Jesus, Satan was saying I will give you the right to feed all people, operate their governments and be the famous one who will be followed by all, just give up the business of changing and filling man’s heart. But Jesus stepped through the games playing and the empty promises. He cut through the deception of short term repairs rather than an eternal fix. Heart disease with motive transplants can only comes at the cost of his life. Jesus refused the lesser way all the way to the resurrection.
 Before us are only two choices. Ironically it’s the same choice. Which desire will be your master? Is it the deepest desire of your heart going to be driven by the lust of self (exploitation) or by the desire of fulfillment (affirmation) from God? All of us live by the lusts of self and the pride of life. Mankind has no antidote for this heart disease. It masters all of us unless…we decide to yield our autonomy to the cleansing power of Jesus. It is always real relationship that changes motives and behavior.
Another way to speak of this conflict or divide is to say what is the Holy Grail to the lust of the world shoves God away. The removal of God, the author of a workable morality, one day leads to judgment. What is holy to God is to be inseparably aligned to him, his Presence alive in us. This is only possible if we yield our hearts to Christ and live like Amos said, “DO what is good and flee from evil.” By the way this does not mean do not stand up to evil.  This will help you to understand:
Faith is not a precarious affair of chance escape from Satanic assaults.
It is the solid, massive, secure experience of God,
who keeps all evil from getting inside us, who guards our life,
 who guards us when we leave and when we return,
who guards us now, who guards us always.“
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction –Eugene Peterson

I do not have all the answers but thank you for letting me share directions from the One who does.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Discernment - We Need Some!

The other day I needed to get some targets from the sporting goods store. I went on line and researched the opening time and laid plans to get to the store at its opening. I hopped in the little car with the top down and the morning was perfect. The heat had not moved in yet. As I drove I thought of various things from the day the Lord had made to visiting a new place and developing a new skill. I drove up to the shopping center and pulled in only to see large signs saying “Open at 11am”! I saw lights on so I got out of the car and checked the doors. The outer one was open but not the inner one. I went back to the car, pushed the top back down and contemplated where else to get targets. As I drove toward the entrance of the lot I realized I had automatically gone to my wife’s favorite store which was next door to where I wanted to go! Two things occurred to me. One my wife has me trained better than I thought and operating on autopilot in this world can get you in trouble,

Discernment is defined as the ability to distinguish reality from appearances and truth from falsehood. The ability to apply common sense, good judgment and maturity to understanding life in our day of information overload is desperately needed. The ability to see there are things that matter and things that do not, the ability to see there are things that make a difference and things that do not, and the wisdom to know the difference isn’t as easy as it seems. Is there any among us who can help us?

Let’s start at the bottom of the skill set for discernment. There are some human skills to be understood as people flood us with seemingly convincing arguments. There is manipulation. Mark Twain once said, “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake it you’ve got it made.” And then there’s us. Sam Johnson once said, “Go into the street and give a man a lecture on morality and give another a schilling and see which will respect you the most.” The problem of discernment goes both ways, after all as a man thinks so is he.

I’ll suggest a resource and then give you some highlights. “Asking the Right Questions –A Guide to Critical Thinking 7th ed.” by Browne and Keeley, is not for the faint of heart. It can be skimmed by the highlights and you will gain enough situational awareness to know you’re being sold something from the wrong store.

First the structure behind what you are reading, hearing or watching. Somebody wants us to believe something, feel something and likely to conclude something. What is the solution or, like medicine, what is the prescription? Not only serious stuff has a message but often entertainment sends us messages. For instance is your entertainment prescribing the way life should be or is it simply reflecting life as it is? Simply put: How much stock should you put in what you took in? Remember the law of unintended consequences applies here. The message may not be the obvious one.

There are some questions to ask about the structure of what we are given in say, advertisement for instance. Does the belief, evidence or statements offered actually support the conclusion? New and improved for instance. As opposed to what? Does it mean it is the latest batch to hit the store and the box art is new and improved or it the product actually changed? Is the ad just meant to make you feel out of date because you have the old stuff? What does the product date mean anyway? Is what you are being told unclear, capable of saying a lot without saying anything?

Value statements may or may not be apparent. When being told such and such will make your life better, will it? Hidden here are unspoken values that drive the value of what is being said. If it connects with your values, it may be easily agreed with. If it makes you think, then think. Do a little research. Then decide. Did the emotional story or pictures portray reality overall or just in a narrow particular situation? Knowledge is not wisdom but knowledge can serve wisdom.

It is also common to have gaps in reasoning so the information given doesn’t match the conclusion proposed. Everything from marital and family arguments to political ads and product comparison uses this technique. The Personal Attack method: a person or item is attacked and insulted instead of directly addressing the issue. The Slippery Slope method: we are made to assume if a certain action is taken it will set off a chain reaction of events, even if there are safeguards that would not allow it. The Perfectionist Barrier: if some of the problem would be helped but not all of it, it is best to do nothing. The Redefining a Word method: Talk clearly about apples but all the while actually mean oranges. The Attack a Straw Man method: Set up an argument that leaves only one solution but never mention alternative options, especially if the “other side” suggested it. Teens are especially good at this next one but many adults having learned this trick use it, just more subtly. It’s the Claim Questionable Authority Method. “ALL my friends are doing it.” The world thinks such and such about Americans. What source are they using to make that statement? Claiming world opinion is a bit sketchy don't you think?

There is so much more available to us to learn how to process and filter information. This is only the first level of situational awareness. There are more questions to consider: How good is the evidence? Are there rival causes of this behavior? Are the statistics deceptive? What significant information is omitted? What reasonable conclusions are possible? Start with being aware it is your responsibility to look beneath the surface to gain wisdom and insight.

The deeper level of discernment is a more powerful filter. Our own world view comes into play. It is made up of our own values, assumptions, life experience and spiritual life or lack of it. You may not realize you have a world view but you do. It is the filter of your heart and we all have the problem of the penny. We say, “A penny for your thoughts and then put in our two cents.” Where does the other cent come from? If our hearts are rebellious and self centered, if that is the other “cent,” we can gain not understanding but negativity, hostility, and a general spirit of skepticism. So one more thing needs to be said:

We choose our “philosophic position” (world view) based on our perceived desires – this is a direct reflection of the condition of the heart. “The deepest problems of the human race are spiritual. They are rooted in man’s refusal to seek God’s way for his life. The problem is the human heart, which God alone can change.” Billy Graham

All discernment without considering your heart filter is incomplete and capable of leading according to our own wants and sin. Consider this timeless heart cleanser as you develop true discernment. “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation-the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ-for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”Phil 1:9-11 NLT

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ice Cream and Spiritual Growth

The other day I got some ice cream, homemade coffee ice cream with heath bar chunks in it. I had a decision to make. Would I like it in a regular flat bottomed cone or in a tapered waffle cone?

That sent my mind down memory lane to a professor who used an ice cream cone to teach a spiritual truth. The tapered end of the ice cream cone was likened to the point of spiritual decision. It could be the beginning place of repentance, forgiveness and freedom from our past acts of sin. Or it could be choosing to live a fully surrendered life to develop the character of Christ, walking in the Spirit. The work of the Spirit in those moments of decision in either repentance or full sanctification is precise. It deals specifically with beginning a new relationship with God.

Because we speak of the point of decision and emphasize it, preachers, teachers and our own presuppositions can unintentionally lead us to expect all the implications for living out the Christian life are done at the moment of decision. In reality the Holy Spirit downloads into our lives his transforming presence and connects us to the Father but the application and action of this experience requires us to be a willing partner working out this new power in everyday life. There is another reason we like the idea of one and done at the point of decision. We prefer the idea of instant. We do start out in the context of immaturity after all. It would be easier if we didn’t have to work out our faith. Looking at our analogy how would it work if we thought the ice cream cone was only its tapered tip? Our ice cream cone needs two things: the expanding size of the cone to be filled and someone to eat the ice cream and the cone.

There are no shortcuts to maturity. It is true God can and will make us clean and holy in a moment when we choose to ask him into our lives. But it is also true the motive of love placed within us takes a lifetime to unfold. New standards of behavior become the norm. We are challenged to think of others differently and to do life differently. We call this discipleship. “I am crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in me. The life that I now live I live through faith in God’s own Son who loved and gave his life for me.” That’s a pretty radical change. And in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we find we can begin to live out these changes. But we also find in our humanness we must learn obedience even through suffering and that we can live in deep reverence (love) of the Father and this growth in relationship spills out in everyday behavior.

Because there are no shortcuts to maturity, we must come face to face with past emotional pain often derived from those who were the most significant to us. Perhaps we could say the sins of the fathers visit down unto the even the third and fourth generations. Within the context of temperament, heredity, environment and our own subculture, we each find we developed coping mechanisms to which we may be blind. We truly asked Jesus for forgiveness and it was given. We truly are now his children. We come to grasp the truth of full surrender to deal with our character not just our behavior, yet for many something just seems to misfire. We discover not everything was dealt with in an instant. Yes we are the Lord’s, but something like healing forgiveness needs to happen within us, something that allows us to establish new patterns of coping. Unless we understand a decision point is the beginning and not the end of our life in Christ and in the fullness of the Spirit, we are going to struggle with the ability to live compassionately with ourselves and others.

One of the most difficult things about living in Christian communities is to understand how to live loving our neighbor as ourselves. Kingdom living is a skill to develop. What if people who claim to love Jesus, claim to have surrendered to the Holy Spirit yet STILL have hurts and struggles that result in outbreaks of contradictory behaviors and confusions? What if their personalities and quirks cause us to judge them harshly, to be impatient with them and to be critical of them? What if the survival tactics of the past rise up under pressure that confuse and discourage us and unknown to us they are discouraged by it too? They are not fakes, phonies or hypocrites. They are people like you and me that have hurts and scars and wounds that interfere with ordinary everyday living. People just like us. And the Healer has hope for them IF they will push through the suffering with deep reverence and trust. The combination of fear, and deep hurt combined with the expectation for all the workings of the Holy Spirit to be instantaneous can be a real barrier.

It is true that by their fruits we shall know them and ourselves, but it is also true by our roots we can know and not judge them and ourselves in the sense of bitter criticism. Some who come through this journey become wounded healers. NO we are not to continue in sin that grace might grow more, but all growth and Christlikeness is not equal. Think about habits that you were delivered from at the beginning of your walk. For some deliverance was instantaneous. For others it was a period of time. Think through the lessons of grace you are learning and applying in the mid-season of your walk. Be aware that you are not done learning to grow in wisdom and stature with God and man. It is a life long journey and just when you think you have found your footing, it is time extend that same grace and wisdom to mentor others.

Let’s go back to the ice cream shop. The tapered end of the cone is the beginning of the structure of the cone. It enables the scoops of delicious ice cream to be delivered until it is full and rising above your cone. Unless you do your part it becomes a sticky mess nobody likes. So hop to it Skippy and LICK IT!

Stepping Out from the Umbrella of Grace

We took a trip to the Far East…of Maine. There we visited the, ironically, West Quoddy Light. The next day we enjoyed the power of the R...