Would you garden for strangers?

It's summertime and gardening has been experiencing a comeback in popularity. This resurgence has visited the Andrews home. We now have two garden boxes in the backyard. We are growing the requisite cherry tomatoes, green beans and summer zucchini squash among other green plants. I'm told that this is good for the boys and the family. (Perhaps even good for the dog when the boys spray him with the hose when watering!) I do not like gardening. I'm actually being polite about my disdain of the act of gardening, because I really don't like it. One might even label my feelings as hate. This might shock some of you who love gardening, and I am not judging your hobby. For me, gardening i

Finding Us Faithful

I've had a song running through my head for a week. Does this ever happen to you? Oh, it has been interrupted several times by the song Harry Karabel wrote for our VBS kids (water - otter - ought'er; ask him about it!) but by and large, it keeps streaming. And this is good, because the lyrics are wonderful, and still apply. Called "Find Us Faithful," and written in 1987 by Jon Mohr, it speaks to our lives of faith: not only how we have received our faith from others, and how we are living it out now, but also the impact our lives make upon others and their faith. The reason it has been running through my head is because Claire Lewis Bellamy sang it for her father's installation last Sunday a

Jesus Knew the Math!

Pastor Toby exclaims.. "I've Got People!!", after discovering and meeting relatives of her birth mother living not too far away in Indiana......... At a recent family reunion, a group of twenty-somethings enjoy a day hike on the Appalachian Trail, a group with roots in Northern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, a group that barely knew each other the night before...... My wife's first cousin who we've never met speaking via Facetime from a village in Syria exclaims "We love you, You Must Come and Visit!"...... I have stories; you have stories; the Bible is full of family stories, sometimes stories of triumph, sometimes troubling stories of family dysfunction and conflict, but always

A Time to Breathe in the Glory of God

Michael and I have recently returned from an incredible journey in and around the Hawaiian Islands. It was our first experience in the 50th state and what an amazing bit of grandeur it is, excelling in both largeness and smallness! First of course there is the Pacific Ocean, so large it comprises 40% of the earth's surface - - a world in itself teeming with fish and whales and dolphins, reefs and sunken treasures. The first explorers to encounter the Islands traveled for weeks and maybe months in what was probably an expanded canoe, to get to the islands. So remote are these islands that it took us six hours (!) in an airplane (!) to travel from the West Coast of the US to Honolulu. One ha

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