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๐€ ๐‹๐ˆ๐…๐„ ๐Œ๐€๐ƒ๐„ ๐๐„๐–

This afternoon, I escaped the four walls of my bedroom to take the geese for a walk and to check the maple tree sap buckets. After three days of hiding in my room with the new-aged flue, I was feeling more than a bit caged.

Though still February, nature felt nice as it settled over me. The sun lifted my spirits. After letting the geese out, we embarked on our tour.

Walking out into the yard, I saw where the melted snow revealed my poker for my new fire pit. I noticed that the handle had been shattered by someone stepping on it beneath the snow. My heart sank a bit as I have not even used it much.

As I continued my walkabout, I passed a branch from one of my plum trees just lying there. Something came over me, and the broken off branch all the sudden appeared in my head as a new handle for my poker.

I picked it up and immediately headed to my shop where I cut it to size and whittled it down to fit into the cup of the original handle. Then, I had to fire up my drill press to drill out the center as the poker rod went up through the handle. Once I connected them together, I did some fine tuning and some sanding. Finally, I oiled it with some of my bar oilโ€”it was handy.

It literally is now 10 times stronger and more beautiful than ever. Pondering the branch,

I realized that which was broken now has new life.

It gave me hope that all things can find a new beginning through the belief and care of another. With the courage to trust another and the courage to reach out to another a new strength and beauty can be made possible.

I suppose that these four walls have been getting to me. Thus, this evening, I have been spending some time in my own worship. Iโ€™m not sure why. I just felt the need and my walk today opened my mind.


Sitting on my bed, I gazed toward my right forearm. I see a permanently placed word: HOPE. Inked directly across on the other forearm reads COURAGE. These words have been the force behind the direction of my life since I was a young man in the military, way before I surrendered to Jesus. It was after falling to my knees, though, that these words began to make sense. They are ink to remind me of my "why."

I share here thoughts that come from my Menโ€™s Devotional Bible. Thank you, Melanie, for this gift many years ago. It is still my favorite.

"All acts of HOPE expose themselves to ridicule because they seem impracticable, failing to conform to visible reality. But in fact, they are the reality that is being constructed but is not yet visible. HOPE commits us to actions that connect with Godโ€™s promise.

What we call HOPING is often only wishing. We want things we think are impossible. . . .

It is not easy to act in HOPE because most of the immediate evidence is against it. It takes COURAGE to act in hope. But it is the_ only practical action that survives the decay of the moment." yet visible. HOPE commits us to actions that connect with Godโ€™s promise.

It is with these words that I find myself drawn to Romans.

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:24-25

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.โ€ Romans 15:13

Thanks for enduring my thoughts tonight. There is nothing like a late winter walk around the property to center oneself.

Much love and respect.


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