Saturday, January 25, 2014


In Illinois, people "scoop snow." 

When we first moved to Wisconsin, people laughed at us.  "You're going to do WHAT with the snow?!"  You see, people in Wisconsin shovel snow.  Scooping is not an option.

(Pssst: We learned to use the word "shovel" instead of "scoop.")

I have now lived in Wisconsin for more than half my life.  This became quite apparent to me as I was in Illinois shoveling (scooping?) my mom's driveway this week. 

Her shovel didn't work as well as I wanted.  My guts compelled me to go grab a different shovel from the garage.  You know, the kind of shovel that would properly clear the drive.  But Mom owns only one shovel.  One.  For all the different types of snow: deep, shallow, powdery, wet, blowing, packing, or icy.

It boggles the mind.

And then -- next -- it boggled my mind that I had become dependent upon having an array of snow-shoveling tools.

I think I'm a Wisconsin girl now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes?

You've heard it.

The passage is from Luke 14.  Jesus tells us that we take stock of our situation before building a tower so that we know what's necessary and don't find ourselves quitting halfway through.  Jesus tells us that you assess your chances of winning in battle, before going to battle, so you don't get creamed.

So, do YOU have what it takes?

Can YOU be a follower of Jesus?

Does that sound like Jesus???

What's that second illustration again?  The king doesn't have enough soldiers, so he begs for terms of peace rather than going to war. 

What if you take stock of yourself and find yourself to be a loser?  What if you realize that you have nothing in you to fight the battle?  What if self-examination reveals that you cannot complete the building you started?

Maybe the whole point of what Jesus says here is that you can't do it, that you do cry "uncle" and give up.  Maybe "forsaking all that he has" is more about being stripped of self-reliance than it is about turning one's back on material possessions.