Take on a season of service

January 4, 2016

Paul Almquist writes in this morning's Fruit of the Vine that the best way to battle pride might be to "take on a season of service, especially hidden service." Paul follows that suggestion with a question: "Have you ever done some kind of service and felt that you were not shown the appreciation you deserve?" I find in this question both a challenge - to do what needs to be done without expectation - and a reminder of the many decades offered in service by good people like Dan McCracken and so many others, service that makes it possible for me to be here, at Barclay Press, sending you this letter.

From the Vault - It was a Merry Christmas that December 1967 in spite of just being released from the hospital. My special gift was at last being able to find a pulse in my left wrist. I wish I could say that this ended all my problems, but it didn't. It was soon after this that I began to fall. - from Chapter 6 in Thanks, God by Eleanor Swanson Antrim (published by Barclay Press in 1971)

An Image from Illuminate - It was on June 23 of that year when John Muir penned these lines: "Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest. Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God" (42, The Sierra Nevada) - from Ron Woodward's commentary on Psalm 104.

What I'm Reading - David Brown offers insights (from 2001) on the future of American Christianity, insights that strike me as more important than ever. Three takeaways from the piece: 1) As ideas about God and religion change, the human need for coherence and purpose most likely will not change. 2) American religious denominations are in the midst of a period of conflict.... These conflicts involve some very different world views living in the same organizational structure held together by property, government and history. 3) What does it mean to be a human being? For most of our history part of that answer was related to being part of a larger mystery or a sacred story. Click through to read the rest.

Eric Muhr