Archive for April, 2022


April 23, 2022

I think most country boys have had a treehouse at one time or another in their lives. I bet not many have had a treehouse in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with a view like this one…at the age of 60. I built and spent many an hour in that tall pine treehouse, which was really not much more than a platform and a little canvas large enough for a couple of lawn chairs and a few other items. An extension ladder rather than a knotted rope was my only concession to age. It was an immensely inspirational place to write, and not just at sunset. In season I watched monarch butterflies migrating right past my aerie, southbound for Mexico, and in the fall God’s autumn art show was spectacular. On a clear day, with binoculars, I could see cars slowly cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway on the farthest ridge in the picture, past the Devil’s Courthouse and Black Balsam Knob. The treehouse was situated on 3 dense virgin acres just below the summit of Claypole Mountain. I dreamed big dreams there of the retirement home we would build with lots of glass to take advantage of its rare 180-degree multi-ridgeline far-horizon views. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. But the alternative was pretty sweet–six-and-a-half years on the road in an RV with multiple mountaintop views across God’s magnificent North American theater. When the reflexes began to slow and I no longer felt safe herding a 45-foot diesel rig down the road, we put down roots for the duration near family in suburban Cincinnati. Grandchildren were the magnet that pulled us away from the mountaintop of my dreams. Love won…again.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Grandson #2, Colin Mele, Class of ’22

Eight years later I have wonderful memories and no regrets. Among family members we have shared life with our grandson, watching him grow into God-fearing manhood as he has breezed through homeschool and Classical Conversations. Yesterday we watched him defend his Classical Conversations senior thesis articulately and confidently. This week we’ll attend his High School graduation, a mountaintop of a far better sort than any number of Blue Ridge sunsets could match. Congratulations, Colin. I predict mountaintops and glorious views in your future. Our Sovereign God reigns.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

See you in church.


April 20, 2022

Here’s a subject that is burning a hole in my soul and cannot wait till my normal Sunday blog.

“De-creation,” a column by Carl Trueman in World Opinions.

JD’s Executive summary:

“He [Philip Rieff*] believed the West after World War II had abandoned any sense of the sacred and had turned the symbols of the sacred into ironic tools for purposes of what Philip Rieff called “de-creation”—a repudiation that the world had any transcendent moral structure by which society is to be ordered….”

Closing paragraph:

“President Biden’s pathetic use of the image of God language to justify irresponsible policies toward children and to displace the role of parents is a damning indictment of his administration. Perhaps even more significantly, it is also a sign of the cadaverous stench of de-creation that now marks what is left of our culture.”

Christian, fight as if your children and grandchildren’s future depends on it. Pray to our Sovereign God for his mercy on America, for revival in our land. Our hope is built on nothing less …

*Philip Rieff was a sociologist and cultural critic who taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1961 until 1992.

Carl Trueman is the author of the best-selling book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, an ordained OPC pastor and professor at Grove City College. In my view he is one of the most enlightened/anointed thinker/ communicators of our age!


April 17, 2022

In the pre-dawn darkness of this Sunday two millennia ago, the second earthquake in 48 hours rocked Jerusalem. The first announced the death (Matthew 27:54)and the second the resurrection of the Son of God (Matthew 28:2) successfully completing a rescue mission of monumental importance–the heart of the Christian faith. Christ’s gruesome death on the most torturous execution rack known vividly conveyed God’s infinite hatred of sin. That it was the Son of God, the only one who could pay the penalty for sin in full, who willingly died there as atonement for the sins of helpless souls, vividly conveyed the infinite love of God. It was Golgotha, where Divine justice and mercy met, where Holy wrath and love converged with earthquaking force and solved man’s unsolvable dilemma.

“Amazing love! How can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me.” — Charles Wesley

His resurrection this glorious Easter morning proclaims God’s victory over death and sin–he put death to death–procuring eternal life in his presence for his chosen, a tremor that will reverberate in their hearts until he returns. Our Risen Savior reigns.

“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay'” (Matthew 28:2–6).

See you in church and we’ll celebrate Our Risen Savior.

GOOD FRIDAY: The Crucifixion of Christ

April 15, 2022

Until you’ve been brought to the realization of how much God hates sin, and that you deserve to be hung on that cross for yours, Good Friday will remain a grotesque fairytale. Until you can begin to grasp the concept of the infinite love of the Son of God who willingly died like that in your place, the earthshaking events of that first Good Friday will remain a barbaric myth. And you are in grave peril….

Have you been blessed with the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8) from our Sovereign God? O unbelieving friend, if Judas could communicate from the outer darkness, he would plead, “Fall on your knees and ask…while there’s still time.”

“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17).

“…Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6–8).


April 10, 2022

Ahhh, Springtime! You have to have lived through a Midwestern winter to truly appreciate it. Springtime on an Illinois farm 75 years ago marked the beginning season of hard labor sowing and reaping. Pictured is Dad behind Jeff and Jerry (my suspected namesake) sitting on a single-seat 2-row corn planter with cigar smoke wafting over his head. He spent long days in that steel seat in the spring.

He taught me to drive that team about the same time Mom was teaching me how to read. Sitting on his lap holding those reins was my first taste of power–two horsepower to be exact. Twenty springs later I was driving a single-seat conveyance in the thrall of seven thousand horsepower, streaking through the wild blue with my tail on fire. Fifty springs on I can affirm that this life’s a pretty short trip, whether you’re driving a two-horse hitch or a supersonic jet. I can likewise affirm that home is a state of being, not a place; and you’ll find it only in Christ, not in this fallen world.

After experiencing spring on three continents, I now greet it at a gait slower than Jeff and Jerry on my morning walk in the new green of nature coming back to life in a suburban Midwestern park. Ecstatic Meadowlarks, Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds and Mockingbirds singing their hearts out accompany me. It evokes so many memories of my earliest springs on the farm. The only sounds missing are the bawling of uncomfortable Holsteins impatient to be milked and roosters announcing the dawn. It’s been a full life come full circle and I am one contented codger. The only thing left on my bucket list is to meet my Savior, the Creator of Spring and Author of my life–he sure wrote a great book! He came back to life on a fine spring morning also, three days after an awful death on my behalf, redeeming me for life everlasting in his presence. That avian choir that stirs my soul every spring morning is not nearly as joyful as I am, and I’ll be far more so where I’m bound–the far higher plain of Eternal Spring.

He has satisfied me with long life and shown me his salvation (Psalm 91:16).

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

See you in church.


April 3, 2022
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday when they were  small?  --  Sheldon Harnick, lyrics, from Fiddler on the Roof

Burk Parsons said, “The greatest joy in this life is to know that our greatest joy is not in this life.” I say, “Amen.” Vying for second place in the joy hierarchy is watching your grandchildren grow up. For this blessing we gave up a Blue Ridge mountaintop property, a life-long dream for a retirement home, to live 10 minutes away from two of them, Anna and Colin, in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. Watching them grow from babes to young adults who love the Lord has been a wonderful blessing. If we were rich enough we’d have a second home in North Georgia to be near the rest of our grands a proportionate share of our latter days. Our quiver is full and so are our hearts. God has been so gracious.

O Lord, in your grace guard and guide our grands.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged…” (Proverbs 17:6).

See you in church.

%d bloggers like this: