Gatekeeper Moments

I was a gatekeeper in the house of my God last night (Friday), greeting people entering The Loft for the House of Prayer. Above was my view for much of the evening.

While there, I enjoyed the scenery, the beautiful weather, and the regular flow of deer across our drive from one side of the property to another.

With the worship and prayer going on in the auditorium, and my communion with God in The Loft's surroundings, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Midway through, the deer reminded me of Psalm 42:1, and, panting for God, I spent the rest of the evening praying with God's wonderful people!

Silverton Revisited

I made a stop yesterday in the neighborhood I lived in growing up, from 1958 to 1971. The house above is the only place I remember us living as a whole family (Mom, Dad, Don, Larry, and me) before we moved to St. Louis in 1971 and my mom died of cancer in 1972.

The back yard, above, is a WHOLE lot smaller than I remember it. I used to play in that yard, and it seemed huge! I also spent many hours under the back porch, which seemed quite expansive to me back then. The house shows its age, and the fence that surrounded the back yard is gone, though I think the bushes lining the perimeter are at least descended from the Roses of Sharon (I think) my mom planted more than forty--maybe as many as fifty--years ago.

But the tree in the corner of the yard--that big tree in the photo above--is an ash tree I planted myself, one Arbor Day around the age of six or so. I brought it home from school, I know, so if I was in first or second grade, it would have been planted in 1964 or 1965, I think.

I also drove the route I walked to and from school every day from kindergarten through sixth grade, to Silverton Elementary School. It seemed such a long walk, I decided to clock it on my car's odometer: almost a mile, one way. And it was, truly, uphill both ways. Honest.

Ohio Book Store

After lunch with my son and a visit to the Mac Genius Bar at Kenwood Mall, I headed downtown to one of my favorite spots: the Ohio Book Store, "five floors of books," at 726 Main Street in Cincinnati.

Opened in 1940, it is still today a bibliophile's wonderland: used books, old books, new books, hard-to-find books, collectors' editions, first editions, every subject under the sun.

To browse the books on the top floor, you have to turn on the lights yourself. And the bookbinder in the basement does great work: I had my favorite Bible rebound there last year, and I love it.

Charm School

Nine or ten miles north of Coshocton, Ohio, is a little community near the border of Coshocton and Holmes County called Charm, Ohio. We've visited there several times, as it is near a pastors retreat called The Valley View Inn.

And, of course, as you might expect, kids go to school in that little town. Charm School.

So if anyone you know is a little short on manners, or etiquette, or needs a little "finishing," send them to Charm School. I've been there myself. Can't you tell?

Lunch with Miles

One of the favorite places I go is McDonald's....WHEN it is with my grandson, Miles. Every couple weeks I pick him up and take him for a Happy Meal, and it's always fun. On the way TO lunch today, he saw a bulldozer go by, and after pointing it out, said, "Bye bye, dozer. I'll miss you, dozer."

After he had finished eating, I unveiled the dinosaur that came with his Happy Meal, and he loved it so much, he held it close and said, "I hug the dinosaur!"

The best things in life are free...or at least no more than the price of a Happy Meal.