Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dear Friends,
     Based on a Reading from Matthew 5, I was encouraged from a post I revisited that was written six years ago.  The writer encouraged readers to establish a "Salt & Light Blog."
     This is a good platform for launching such. For the time being, you may respond to this invitational posting by simply sharing a time you have noticed someone serving as hospitable salt or illuminating light for another...
     Better yet, when have you served as such? - by taking seriously what Jesus has said about Followers:  "You are salt of the earth... (and)...You are the light that gives light..."
     Please bless others by sharing your experiences of the Profound Touch of God in these challenging times...
+Drex

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Independence Day and the Most Profound Joys...

So for those of you who hung in there with me until I could get back to this endeavor, here's my reflection written mostly in my head from yesterday, Independence Day, 2016.

We left downtown Washington D.C. for some unknown reason and as day ebbed into night, my Mother read a kid's book about packing for travel which contained the line, "Oops, I almost forgot my toothbrush; I can tuck it right inside..."

I was probably six years old.  Sometime during the night as we traveled to "Sugar" (Grandmother's) house in Southern Virginia, the generator went out, and our car ground to a halt in front of the old Country Store with a screen door and a proprietor preparing to close.  The "Rainbow Bread" blond little girl smiled at me from the ad on the door, and I knew that at some level everything would be OK.  My Dad persuaded the guy who was closing his store to let him make a phone call.  "Reverse the charges," no doubt.  And in the darkness of the night, my Uncle Bill would begin to make his way toward us to haul us to Grandmother's...

Fast forward a few days to Independence Day.  Before and after that particular year, we would all plop down on a hill in Arlington, Virginia, and watch as best we could the fireworks trying to climb their way above the Washington Monument from the Mall below.  The parents did this to avoid traffic jams, which were mild then in the late 1950's when measured by today's standards...

At "Sugar's" house, things were simpler.  In the dark of night on her rural hill, we played with sparkler's that were twice the length of modern versions and lasted seemingly forever.  There was never a worry then about precaution, and we fearlessly threw 'em up into the shadows of the night like fiery swords...

"Sugar" and Granddad had vocabulary unique to their home place.  Skunks were "polecats," and fireflies were "lightening bugs," and will always remain so with me...  Which brings me to the most profound joy.  On Independence Days in the intervening years, forget fireworks...  Give me acres of Lightening Bugs, like those on the field-carpets - undulating pinpoint lights I saw on Monday evening a week ago just past dusk along Austin Road in Saline Township.

Last evening, while people played with a myriad of explosives, I quietly sat and watched pinpoints of light rise with the sweet warmth of the evaporating light and wander-wave toward the heavens.  I watched them with wonder from the very porch from which children and the occasional grandchild would chase their ancestors with jars and high hopes of catching a few.  I found the most profound joy in simply remembering all of the above in a rush of minutes punctuated by the most wondrous sight of wandering pinpoints of flame, the the Creator's best display on this particular Independence Day.


If one looks closely above...   ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016



My son, Joseph, would allow only one handshake photo...
A "GradShake" photo!  We're proud of his hard work...
The Sixth Sunday of Easter will bring us ever closer to the advent, the coming, of the Holy Spirit's full sway.  The gift we have been given to open is the gift of a "fresh start" in Jesus, a Future unfolded by the Spirit when we yield to such.  The challenge I am presenting to myself right now is to privately enumerate those things of which I am most fearful.  What do I dread most?  And am I willing to let the Spirit deal with it all?

The First Letter of John 4:18 encourages us:
"There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. the one who fears is not made perfect in love." (NIV)

This quote begs for much "unpacking," but right now it is sufficient to say that we are challenged to reflect God's heart by being immersed and by radiating the warmth of the One who reached to pluck me (and you) out of sticky clay and Who gives us the means to pluck up others as well...

Monday, April 25, 2016


Mortarboards are decorated in celebration.  Pictured are Joe Morton processing from Graduation Ceremonies on Sunday, April 24, 2016, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation, accompanied by a mortarboard declaring, "Finally!"

Graduation Day

Graduations are always tough for me.  They always mark the passage of time that progresses all too quickly.  So yesterday was Joe Morton's graduation from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Business Administration.  We had an extended family meal with family and close friends who have been family for over 20 years.  The guest of honor (beyond Joe) who helped us with the planning and purposing was Elin Alexander, a distance runner from Chicago who has come to have a special place in Joseph's heart.  So another young woman has seemingly stolen away another of my sons, but this is a double loss, because it was Joe who urged me to begin "the run" again.  A high point of our running last year was one run in Maybury State Park when we ran for about three hours plus on the trails, and then he continued on with Josh Bonno for another four in preparation for a 50 mile run in Northern Michigan.  It was on that particular organized trail run in August when "lightening struck," and he met Elin. Both of them had won their age group categories, and the rest is history.

This history brought us all to the Convocation Center yesterday, where those matriculating walked, heard a rousing and Faith based speech, turned their tassels, and became alumni in the blink of an eye.  Things have changed a bit.  Students now decorate the tops of their mortarboards rather lavishly, some garishly; however, some things don't change...  Time evaporates for me at moments like this, and I remembered when my Dad and I received degrees at Louisiana State University almost simultaneously in 1974.  I recalled the warm spring day in 1987 when I left the cocoon of Seminary and flew off into almost 30 years of ministry.  I was suddenly back at the Chapel of the Abiding Presence, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and one of my favorite professors, Dr. Nieting, who had been a missionary to the Far East, seemed genuinely pleased for me.  He had taught me well to appreciate the Letters of the New Testament.

Graduations remind me that time is waning for me to make a difference in this world.  And I wonder whether there are things that I've missed, people I've overlooked, and I begin to miss my adult children even more, knowing that when they became almost finished products and were decent to have around, they, too, began flying forth from cocoons of our own making...  


Saturday, February 21, 2015



Over the last three months, we were devastated and had to say a temporal good-bye...



...But we've also been able and blessed to say a temporal hello...