Broken Windows

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and  took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. Colossians 2:14 KJV

When I was about twelve, my mom separated from my stepdad and took my sister and I to move hundreds of miles away to live her parents. Leaving behind all that was familiar, I was eager to make new friends, so when I found three guys about my own age in our new neighborhood, I immediately joined their circle. Just down the street from my grandparent’s home was an elementary school with a playground where we liked to hang out. Right next to that playground was a house which the school had bought, with the plan of tearing it down to make room for an addition. Since the house was soon to be demolished one of the guys in our group wondered who would care if we broke a few windows. We were astonished at his brilliant and exciting plan! Wasting no time to think of things, such as the town hall and police station being only blocks away, we quickly filled our pockets with stones and began a contest to see who could break the most panes. Of course, it wasn’t long before someone called the police, and soon the sirens and flashing lights of two patrol cars came racing up and we all ran inside the house to hide. It didn’t take the officers long to round us up and trot us all into the elementary school. There they lined us up in the hallway just outside the principal’s office. By the time it was my turn to enter, my knees were shaking and though I forget what was said, I remember that the principal took out a black book where he had written our names. Then he showed me that he was marking a large black circle right next to mine. I had no idea what that meant, but it felt as if I was doomed for life!

Photo by Kevin Malik on

Looking back on how we were then simply released to slink quietly home, I am pretty sure that all of our parents were in on the elaborate ruse. It really was a great plan, because not one of us got into any trouble again that summer! In fact, we did not even have the courage to speak about our moment of infamy to each other! That time reminds me of today’s verse. Just as we each received a black mark next to our name, so everyone who has ever lived has been caught by the justice system of God. We have all sinned and the penalty for our sin is death. We have broken, not only the windows of heaven, but also the heart of God. He has sadly marched us in and one by one placed a black mark by our names. But unlike in my childhood experience, God’s plan did not end there. Instead, God sent His only son, to die in our place, so that He could erase the black mark. And the even better news of the Bible is that instead of simply releasing us to go to our own homes, God has invited us to come to live in His forever!

Children’s Book

As Promised from a couple of weeks back, my new book All Creatures Most Small is now out. This is my first book that is exclusively children’s poetry and was appropriately illustrated by my young friend Emilia (9 years old). Watching both Emilia and my friend and graphic designer Robert Keller come onboard to illustrate and frame my poems was a huge blessing in my life. I am grateful to them for their enthusiasm and advice as well as the kind and encouraging words from both Emilia’s mom and grandmother.

Here is another little peek – Into what All Creatures Mostly Small is about

We were having a great time storytelling and singing around the campfire, late into the night at our church camp out for boys. The youngest of them felt like we were in the wilderness even though it was really just behind the house of one of our church members. When the time came for everybody to head for bed, it took a while to get the boys settled into their sleeping bags. While I lay there listening to the cicadas singing and the frogs chirping, a little voice whispered from the back of the tent, “We can’t sleep. It sounds scary!”

“Oh, don’t be afraid.” I told them. “That just sounds like God talking to me.” I answered back. “Oh!” The small voice whispered. Then just a few minutes later things got quiet and I could hear the gentle snoring of the boys telling me that yes, they had heard God speaking too. I am thankful for all the lessons both large and small that God has taught me with the voice of even His tiniest creatures. and I invite you in these poems to hear God talking to you too.

Here is the softcover edition which is available on Amazon today. This is also an e-book format for those who prefer tablets instead of physical books.