Rev. David Rufner is pastor of New Hope Lutheran Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. His B.A. in Philosophy is from Concordia University - Chicago, and his M.Div. is from Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. Beyond the horizon of church, David (along with his wife Megan, and four children) enjoys cooking, sipping bourbon, reading, parties and life with neighbors, hiking, camping, and long road trips to lands where mountains loom and canyons yawn.
The distance—the gap—between the life of our dreams and the real deal is humorous. At least on paper. In a book. But at ground level, it can be utterly unfunny, unnerving, and even crushing. This truth can lead to a warning: Mind the gap.
With so many others, I once thought that e-books were the future. Imagine owning something that moth and worm cannot touch, and thieves cannot steal. But a decade or so on, and I find myself reaching for the real thing. Hardcover. Softcover. I’ll take either.
This cosmic collision between light and dark that will soon be upon us last took place 73 years ago in 1945! No, I don’t speak of World War II, or of Axis and Allied nations. Rather, I speak of Valentines Day and Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) falling on the same day; Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
Last night I did what I hate to do; I helped with decorations around the house. This made me grumpy – very grumpy, jerk-level-status-grumpy. I don’t much like dealing in trinkets. Poor me.
It may well be a mistake to read literature for the sole purpose of finding literary gems. But it is no mistake—no mistake at all!—to gather these gems up when they reveal themselves to us.
In southwest Utah there is a 17-mile, one-way, single-track road that travels into and then out of a wild and desolate basin.
For reasons known and unknown to me I am haunted by the desert southwest. I love this high desert of rock and sand and sky and animals well suited to scarce water and both the extreme heat of day and the shocking cold of night.
“It seems likely that [Psalm 1] was specially composed as an introduction to the whole Psalter. Certainly it stands here as a faithful doorkeeper...” And so opens a popular commentary on the Psalms as it shares a conviction that is widely held.
Here’s a dose of optimism for you. It comes from Henry David Thoreau writing beside Walden Pond when this nation was not yet 100 years-old: If the moon looks larger here than in Europe, probably the sun looks larger also.
In a BBC Newshour report on a day in May, just two years ago, I heard a sad but beautiful report by journalist Colin Paterson. The sad report was that legendary blues guitarist and singer B.B. King was dead.