Today I want to share a story from a few years back when my work day routine included RUSH HOUR. note: rush & hour are both 4 letter words.. coincidence? I think not. And.. to be very clear.. I HATE RUSH HOUR and RUSH HOUR HATES ME!
Now to complicate this motor mecca madness when I was a participant in the daily commute of highway lemmings going to and fro work my car was getting older requiring a little TLC. To be honest I am no great mechanic, but the basics I can do. BUT I do remember when a time when my TLC car had problems starting. Since our car had the original battery, and with over 100,000 miles a good place to look was the battery. Piece of cake even for Jeff the Mechanic.. except WHERE IS THE BATTERY?
I have changed a few batteries in my years of owning cars, and have jump started plenty of them like most ice bound Northerners.. but again WHERE IS MY BATTERY? Under the hood would be a logical place to look.. right?... There are terminals for jump starting, BUT.. unless this car runs on a couple AA batteries.. IT AINT THERE.
So I get out the owners manual, check the index and find battery information is on page 146 where I am informed the battery is located 'CONVENIENTLY'.. NOT! in front of my driver side front tire behind a small panel in the wheel well. The manual then states the battery can be removed 'easily'.. NOT! by turning the steering wheel completely to the right providing 'easy' access.. NOT! to the battery panel.
WRONG, wrong, WRONG!!! First you must struggle and futz and maybe express yourself with a language where words longer than 4 LETTERS do not apply.. and could NEVER be described as a special prayer language.. then remove the front tire (thought the manual says I do not need to remove the tire) and then and only then replace the battery FROM MY WHEEL-WELL-HELL?
This process makes a good Christian fella like myself want to meet a Chrysler Auto Engineer and help him turn his other cheek as I kick him in his BIG left behind.
Maybe if Jesus walked this Earth today, would share this AAA Kingdom Parable...
Where access to the Kingdom of God is like gaining access to the car battery in a 2000 Cirrus Sedan. It can be done, but you need to commit to it.. get your hands dirty, maybe break a sweat, and maybe mutter this is too hard for this man to do.. but you persevere and find.. I now have a new battery in my car (like Jesus in my heart). Where my battery was once dead, I now have hope and a new life on the road that is right and narrow while avoiding the 666 off ramp to Hell.
Ok, that was a stretch.
BUT I did get my car is back together ready to participate in the daily motor madness. This was often a challenging process for this small town boy trapped in the big city around through and over potholes, tailgating, fender benders, avoiding the teen drivers who survive ONLY by the grace of God, and ..
slowing down to be amused by a few perplexing bumper sticker combo moments.
Have a great day with a safe drive to your daily destinations.
May God bless each of your days in great ways where you feel his very real presence even if your car battery is located in your wheel well.
Jeff (parking brake on) Larson
Let me leave you with a few more MOTOR TOONS
- The Time Honored Drive to Church
- The Drive Thru Prayer
- Keep your EYES on the Road and finally...
My good friend Bryan Anderson is a Biology professor at Bethel University. He is a smart guy from my home town of Cable Wisconsin population 280ish. Bryan lives the good life with his family now in the Twin Cities faithful to God, family, and friends.
I repost this blog about once a year around his birthday on July 28 or 29.. I think. This year his birthday is a significant one as he is now 150 years old. <insert eye roll> OK OK, he is a year younger than me.. he is 62.
He was the best man in my wedding, and I have known him since I was 6 or 7 years old. It is a good thing to have such a good friend, but note while we are good friends we never HUG. For us..that would be creepy weird.
Anyways, like I said Bryan is a very good friend, and we meet for lunch often, and when we meet he has shared with me his secrets for a happy life. I have summed up his secrets in what I would call..
THE FOUR PRINCIPLES OF BRYAN.
After all Bryan is a Biology professor, a man of science,.. he knows.. STUFF
For myself, I cheerfully own a cell phone, read email, and wear a seat belt.. but I believe Bryan is on to something regarding this 'sign happy world'. Also, I do social media.. and Bryan is right, I should just say NO.
Also Bryan reinforces his sign concerns by quoting Jesus in Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it.
So there you have The Four Principles of Bryan (aka 4PB) for a world looking for ironically a sign? Not sure the 4PB will have the same impact as let's say.. The Four Spiritual Laws by Bill Bright, but there are four of em'.
May God bless your life with a fully charged smartphone, a manageable email inbox, seat belts in your cars, a life uncluttered by excessive 'signage'... and good friends to be used as blog fodder.
Jeff (SIGNing off for now) Larson
I am reading through my Bible again this year and learning so much. One of the interesting facts I have been reminded of is the number of different kings of Israel or Judea that there were.
Some bad, some just plain evil (see Ahab in toon on the right), others good.. but even good kings were often reported to being good EXCEPT for leaving up a few Temple Idols here or there.
Now when Josiah became king he was 8 years old! That's a year younger than my grandson Everett, and while he is a great kid.. he is not ready to be king. Anyways, Josiah was a good king and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord 2 Kings 22:2.
One of the great undertakings of Josiah was to clean out the Temple of the Lord of all the idols to Baal, etc. please read below..
2 Kings 23: 4-8 4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven . He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations and all the host of the heavens. 6 And he brought out the Asherah (pagan goddess idols) from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. 7 And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. 8 And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city.
Wow!.. Now if I was king of Israel I would like to think I would NOT tolerate temple idols. Get your cow statues, pagan idols, and yes no more prostitutes in the temple. That should be a given.. and don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. GET OUT!
But in our modern world of so many idols.. who am I kidding?.. and where should I start? We may not keep our idols in the temple (aka church).. then again maybe there too. Some churches seem much more a moment to a denomination (sparing no expense) or to a minister (man or woman) who has clearly taken center stage and prospered while God is somewhere in the back.. maybe.
But how about idols in my own life. In my home, and/or in my heart. This society offers so much to worship that is not in any stretch of the imagination.. God related.
Where is my worship? Where is my focus? Am I in a constant attitude of prayer 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 or in a constant attitude of self indulgence absorbed reading box scores from last night's sports?
I do love my sports and can spend hours following my favorite teams (Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Badgers, etc).. and I do like movies. Neither sports or movies are bad, BUT.. I can spend too much time and emotion watching sports, and/or maybe watching a movie out of curiosity that ends up having zero redeeming value.
So.. what is your idol? Career, fitness, status, and/or leisure? Maybe it is even a vice like DRINK (that was one of mine for about 15 years).
No matter, it is time to clean out those pesky temple idols in our lives. Time always to reexamine our hearts for compromise who or what we choose to worship. You may say "just checked, and no temple prostitutes in my life." but maybe lust and/or the dark power of porn has a hold on you. In all these things and more let's give them up. Throw these idols out of our lives.
If you think the Bible is dry and difficult to read, church is honestly boring, and you find no real interest in spiritual things, I would challenge you to go deeper. If you are in awe of this amazing world from the wonder of nature, to the infinite cosmos.. know there is a creator.
So my question is 'What is more fascinating and breathtaking.. to study more about the CREATION (our world, the cosmos), or the CREATOR of of our world and the cosmos.
May God bless each of you in your lives. May He be real to you and the focus of your worship.
Jeff (cleaning out my idol junk closet) Larson
.. I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Ps 23:4
The 23rd Psalm is a classic go-to scripture of comfort for believers. I read the beginning 'the Lord is my shepherd' to the concluding promise 'I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever'.. BUT my life seems to be hung up these days in the middle.. the SHADOWY DEATH VALLEY part.
Maybe I am the only one, BUT.. in this divisive election year, with social unrest, riots, racial tensions, persecution of Christians, and where socialism, and Marxism are being mainstreamed all while this little (microscopic little) virus Covid-19 deepens our paranoia and to wear a mask or not wear a mask has divided even our churches to where we are mandated to comply. This is a whole other discussion, but my point is ..
WELCOME TO SHADY DEATH VALLEY 2020.
Who knew there was a VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH in Minnesota in my neighborhood, but I am living proof it is here and wants to be here to stay.
The good news.. no.. THE GREAT NEWS is .. if I Love God with all my heart soul and mind, and others as myself, AND pray for God's providence for me, the promise of Psalms 23 is true. I do not want to be caught up with focusing on just a part of Psalms 23:4.. I must read it in context of the whole chapter to find my peace
So the next time I find myself lost in any VALLEY I will fear no evil because of the complete promise of Psalms 23. While bad stuff, bad people, bad weather all packaged in little bite sized segments can make a fella .. SICK... I choose to fear no EVIL.
I am determined to turn off those news SHOWS, get off SOCIAL MEDIA, and turn to the source of all truth in God's word. Psalms 23 is that message of peace tucked neatly in the middle of my Bible, but reading the whole Bible provides the big picture of God's plan for mankind from the Genesis beginning, through the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and through the promise of his return. IT IS A MUST READ!
I pray that God will blessed with the peace of God's answers for any SHADOWY DEATH VALLEY moments in a way that is beyond your dreams.
Jeff (in the SHADE not the SHADOWS) Larson
note: Let me leave you with more than a few cartoons of HOPE inspired from the Bible book of Psalms. Psalms is for everyone who feels life is hopeless, and/ or you are simply .. having a bad day.
I like to read from Oswald Chambers classic devotional 'My Utmost for His Highest'. This is one of the VERY BEST daily devotionals that I would highly recommend to anyone needing focus for each day.
Today’s reading was titled ‘Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught’. Let me share the first two sentences from this devotional ..
“OUR THINKING ABOUT PRAYER, whether right or wrong is based on our own mental conception of it. The right thinking is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs, and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues without ceasing. This is how prayer should be in our lives.
This message spoke volumes to me on the place of prayer in the midst of this summer 2020 of turmoil. I spend so much effort thinking about Covid-19, masks, elections, racial tensions, closed churches schools and businesses, and worrying about tomorrow without taking time to breath/pray. Being one with God, being in tune (or in my case toon) to His Spirit is where I should be.
I do not want to be living in this fallen world hindered by it's pitfalls, my limitations, or hyper focused circumstances. Instead I want my thoughts, prayers, and actions to be in sync with God’s will. Easier said than done, but this is my prayer today.
May God bless and lead each of you in a way that makes a difference with a life that loves God and others as intended. and... live full and satisfying lives where PRAYING is as natural function as your lungs breathing and hearts pumping.
Jeff (prayerful today) Larson
I am not complaining.. I guess most would not say lovely and Hell in the same sentence, but as a cartoonist it means I was working on cartoons regarding the 'other' land down under.. WAY DOWN UNDER. These cartoons all reside in my BP HELL page.
So while the sun shines brightly here on a warm summer day in Minnesota I am in my office airbrushing Satan a nice a shiny red, and tidying up the road to Hell (Route 666).
Of course Hell is anything but funny, and I believe it is real. I don't know what it is or what the torments are, but I do know I don't want to go there. At the very least I fear it is the complete absence of God. An absence that has never fully been experienced during anyone's lives on Earth. That alone is good enough to keep from playing close to the line.
This concludes my deep theological views of Hell.
I observe a favorite parlor game for Christians is deciding who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell. This is a topic subject to ponder, but thankfully those choices are made way above my pay grade by our perfect loving God. His judgments are fair, and his grace is truly amazing.
Consider The parable of the worker (Mt. 20:1-16) who was hired at the end of the day but still received a full day's pay. Or the Thief of the Cross who was saved by Jesus moments before his death. Think about how powerful this Grace is to save a man that we know nothing else about except he was a convicted thief. Not much of a resume if judged by man, but he was NOT judged by man, he was saved by God's grace.
This Amazing Grace redeems lives and saves souls from Hell, and this same Grace that saved that Thief on the Cross is the same 'Amazing' Grace that saved me when I was six years old in Summer Bible School... and is available to anyone on any journey.
May God bless each of you this day with His presence, His love and Grace that is there when you are on the mountain top or deep in a valley.
Jeff (Back Pew) Larson
There are those grey overcast days where I think the sun will never shine again. Maybe a little foggy, drizzling still morning but then a spot on the clouds glows and just moments later the sun peeks out. I now see the sun and feel it’s warmth. Amazing how that feels especially on that cool grey day, but sometimes as quick as the sun appears the clouds return and the sun is gone and so is it's warmth.
This glimpse of the sun describes often my pursuit of God. I read, and pray and the story of God and the Gospel message makes sense. This time of clarity is beyond refreshing until.. circumstances and the world distract me, along with my inconsistent pursuit of God until my perspective is clouded and poof my moment of clarity is gone.
Does that sound familiar, or am I the only one? A simple check on Twitter and Facebook and the social media posts of Christians and I will conclude this line looking for Glimpses is a very long line. I am among friends.
In my defense I find Isaiah 55:9, and 1 Corinthians 13:12 . I feel like Winnie the Pooh, a Bear of very little brain creator of cartoons attempting to grasp Almighty God creator of the Universe. Advantage God
It does not seem fair to have only glimpses. I even have my fair share of questions about God himself and the inerrant of His Word. note: While I have questions, I want to be clear I choose to place my trust and hope in Him and the answers found in His Word.
Short bunny trail... Now being a guy, I like gadgets.. so I am thinking maybe if God would give me a remote control for 'glimpses from God'.. then I could hit PAUSE when His light shines and I see.. if I could only make these glimpses longer. -sigh- ok, I checked Best Buy, and there is no such remote - end of bunny trail-
So again, I realize in this life I cannot and will not fully understand so many things, but when those clouds part that glimpse of God like the sun through the clouds on a grey day is priceless. This glimpse of God's truth, and love speak to me like the warmth of the sun. My shoulders relax, there is sudden clarity and perspective. Lord I pray for more glimpses, and I pursue these glimpses by quieting myself, focus on God's Truth in His word, pray without ceasing, listen to worship music, spend time with other believers, and serve others.
No matter how cloudy your day is in this broken world of sickness, conflicts, family issues, greed, racism, and/or POLITICS (please pass the bucket).. pray for Glimpses (and more) of God and His purpose and perspective.
Find peace in knowing the Lord as your Shepherd Psalm 23, and the live out Phil 4:8 dwelling on and pursuing what is good.
May God bless each of you this day with more than glimpses of Him that pierce the clouds in your life and this DARK world. And.. rest in the promise of what He will reveal to us fully someday.
Jeff (glimpse chaser) Larson
Note: The Apostle Paul given a tad more than a glimpse of the sun/Son on that road to Damascus. On your Damascus Road.. wear SUNBLOCK.
Sometimes Christians are just so smiley and so ‘Ned Flanders-like’ happy I could just slug-em. I know the joy of the Lord is my strength, but what’s with the ‘goofy-grins’?
I heard a good sermon a while back about the Fruit of God’s Spirit. You know.. love, joy, peace.. blah, blah, blah… and included in this list is JOY which I happen to misplace from time to time in my life..
Real Joy is not a serene surreal spiritual experience, but instead every day rubber meets the road with a pot-hole or two along the way experience.
Real joy is independent of circumstance. Most of us may not have your state of joy challenged by jail time, but joyful despite bumper to bumper traffic is instead our modern day challenge. Joy is even independent of having Covid-19.
How about joyful when doing the dishes? How about joyful and QUIET while doing the dishes?
How about.. Can I be joyful when
.. it appears God procrastinates, or
.. when my financial status and credit rating are less than (MAYBE WAAAY LESS) than perfect?
.. how about joyful when like today.. I have back spasms.
Yes.. joy is found in the difficult, tedious, stressful, and despite pain.
Can I be joyful when my relative prosperity can only be measured by God? … or can I be joyful when I have been married for what seems like one bazillion years! After a bazillion years of marriage your newlywed young love and passion is slowly replaced with something that includes a few disagreements (aka fights), money & health issues, raising kids without a road map, and living your til death do us part marriage with too often more questions than answers.
BUT.. we can learn so much from Jesus about joy. I don’t believe Jesus was the subdued passive image of joy and God that we often stereotype.
I believe Jesus was both passionate, and expressive. Jesus knew when it was time to be serious, worshipful, diligent all while being the friend of the common folk all while never compromising God’s values or God’s truths. I believe His joy was found in being faithful and unwavering to the Father in all circumstances.
Children loved Jesus, and sinners were attracted to Him because of his teaching was the perfect blend of truth with hope. The Pharisees hated Jesus for this very same teaching of perfect truth with hope.
The Gospels are full of Jesus telling great stories with purpose that resonated with man, but maybe Jesus laughed out loud and told great jokes. Maybe ‘milk comin out yer nose jokes.’
<pause> Ok, scratch that last one, that goes beyond even the goofy grin category of joy.
My point is that Jesus was real. He did not need to be vulgar or crass to be noticed, but he certainly would not be confused with Ned Flanders. It was not a somber sober demeanor that attracted people to Jesus, it was a man who loved life and lived his life with a joyful passionate purpose that honored God the father and cared for His fellow man.
I won’t even digress ‘long’ on my next point, BUT Jesus turned water into wine AFTER all the wine was gone. He did not make Welch’s Grape Juice, it was wine. Point is .. maybe Jesus liked to laugh and have fun with friends.. and we should to. PLEASE NOTE.. THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF DRINK (I personally don't drink anymore as I was not very good at it.. or too good at it..BUT I DIGRESS) .. I am just thinking out loud.
So where do we find Joy today?
Now with all of the bad news in our world right now.. my joy is challenged. I think of the Covid-19 related issues, racial tensions, hatred, greed, the media who lie as easy as they tell the truth, and all this stirred by the 2020 elections.
All of this and what I see as the Church (Christians) who are not salt and light. A church that compromises God's loving firm truth with the compromised views of our secular society. A church that lives in fear and too often is more concerned with offending the world, than offending God. A church that lives in Fear instead of Hope.
note: I am not pointing a finger at others here.. as I am a part of the Church. This is a sober reminder to love one another while we love and obey God.
Now back to the answer of the question.. Where do we find joy today? Know that joy is not found in who wins the upcoming elections. There are consequences to our actions, our votes, and in the direction our country chooses.
Our joy is found in the Lord through difficult times. It does matter that we love and obey God, but even if the whole world chooses NOT to obey God.. we must stand strong with Him always. Through good times and bad.. Joy is ultimately and eternally found in obedience and love of our God.
So there you have it. Maybe there is a world of Christian existence that is somewhere between a Ned Flanders goofy grin, and those Christians who look like they are in pain in church.
How will those people survive in Heaven when they learn they will have to be happy. So ‘Smile Mon!’
Joyful Christians without goofy grins? I know it will be a challenge, but we are just the people to do it.
May God bless and use each of you in ways that are beyond your dreams. I pray you find joy in the Lord in every circumstance.
Jeff (silly smirking) Larson
I do admit I visit the local coffee shops now and then for a Latte. I don’t believe if my dad were still alive would approve of this.
First of all, paying $5 for a large latte (steamed milk and espresso) would be simply WRONG WRONG WRONG!! Then to stand in line to order a coffee with a flavor.. is also WRONG.
According to my dad, coffee drinker wanna-bes may add sugar to their coffee but true coffee drinkers either drink it black or with the 'approved' dairy companion of the day.. half&half.
Also my dad would not purchase something called a scone. If you want something sweet you buy a package of pastries from the IGA Grocery with a shelf life of 4 years. AND.. the only coffee drink resembling 'A Mocha' in my parents home was if my dad accidentally poured his Folgers coffee into a 'child's' cup of cocoa.
Coffee was a major element in fellowship for my family and church as I was growing up. Pastor Wayne Larson (no relation) and his wife Ruth led the our church in Cable Wisconsin for about 7 years, and they had the ‘gift of coffee’. They would call up my folks and say them to “put a pot of coffee on.. cuz we are coming over.”
There were a few important truths I learned about this coffee
1. Coffee is synonymous with fellowship,
2. There was never TOO MUCH coffee, and
3. Tea is NOT coffee
Now fast forward 35 years and you don’t have to drink your coffee black or with cream and/or sugar.. you can get you Latte Grande skinny ( half expresso, and half steamed skim milk).. You can order a Turtle Sundae Mocha.. maybe a White Chocolate Raspberry Cooler.. the possibilities are endless..
BUT ..though I like my Latte I want to return to the time honored tradition of CHURCH COFFEE… and a few toons to capture the significance of this beverage of choice for today’s church.
Never to be confused with the Holy Sacraments… but still I observe church coffee is revered. Brewed in a traditional aluminum drum with love and care.. symbolic of friendship but often tastes often like something less.
Now that I think about it.. let me share my COFFEE CONSPIRACY THEORY. I wonder if coffee was introduced to churches as a way to keep the congregation awake during a dry sermon in a stuffy church.
But according to Newton's Law .. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction... and with coffee came the Coffee Conflicted Christian.
With regards to this traditional aluminum drum brewing 'machine', cleaning this drum is of paramount importance. Coffee drum cleaning like changing the oil in your car is too often neglected resulting in a brew that only the hearty church goer can appreciate/tolerate. THEN those times when the coffee has a taste like hot dishwater it may be because when the drum was finally cleaned… THE DISH RAG WAS LEFT IN THE DRUM!!..
There, now try and keep that thought out of your mind the next time you pour yourself a cup of hot caffinated fellowship in your church foyer.
In conclusion, I must admit that many churches today offer good coffee, but if my dad were still alive.. he would prefer his cup to come from the traditional aluminum drum. Then again.. he is in Heaven.. and I believe they do COFFEE RIGHT (Folgers with half & half thank you very much)
Let me leave you with a few moments from the Bible where I believe a little hot coffee was in order.
and.. to round out today’s coffee toonage let me share a coffee paraphrase of the Revelation 3:16 passage where the Lord is speaking about a church being lukewarm. Neither hot or cold.. and how distasteful LUKEWARM COFFEE is.
Have a great day.. full of God’s caffeinated blessings. Smile lots.. and enjoy life .. and always..
BREW UNTO OTHERS as you would have them BREW UNTO YOU!.
Jeff (caffeinated) Larson
Today in my Minnesota the heat index forecast is 110, with the air temp being around 94. Ok, I know some of you may think that is not hot or humid, but for this very white skinned Norwegian it is HOT. But with this in mind I want to share a great Minnesota summer day from a weekend in 2007.
I remember a perfect Summer Saturday in 2007 .. Sunny, 75 degrees, light breeze, low humidity and I started this day in a perfect way with coffee and the morning paper with my lovely wife Mary.
After this peaceful slow start I was off to my job for the day as an umpire for a 12 yr. and under girls slow pitch softball tournament.
Now on this perfect summer day the games begin at 9:00am. Coaches and parents cheer on their ‘little darlins’ with smiles and encouraging words while the concession stand provides the hot dogs, candy, and pop in a way that gives this day the look of a classic Norman Rockwell painting.
So there you have it.. I am living a life blessed by God on a perfect summer day! Families, sports, summertime food, and I thank God for allowing me to be a part of this. Livin La-Vi-Da-Larson!! Ya-sure u- betcha!
As morning moved to afternoon, and finally evening rolled around it was still a beautiful day. BUT I was on my way to umping 10 games this day to be followed by 7 more on Sunday. The mood and competitive nature of some of the parents and coaches started sliding downhill.
One team in particular that was coached by three ‘gentlemen’ resembling Hell’s Angels (the bikers, not the minions) in both their demeanor and flavor of sportsmanship.
My sunburned body, tired mind and blistered feet are now mumbling over this ‘perfect’ summer day. Perfect summer day? Perfect Summer Day? Why do I have to be outside all day? I am an ‘inside dog’!.. I own a home, and I WANT TO GO TO IT!
Now fast forward to Sunday afternoon, the temperatures are hotter, the breeze is nil, and the humidity is up. So fate finds me umping a very competitive game between two very good teams that goes into extra innings! The joy of summer is back! The parents, kids, and coaches are having the time of their lives with me as the centerpiece enforcing the rules.
But... This Norman Rockwell moment comes crashing to a halt on a very close play at home that I call SAFE! The winning team is exhilarated, while the losing team quickly formed a lynch mob brandishing a hangman's noose created from the belts of parents who were now looking for a tree to STRING ME UP.
This Mob INCLUDES one pretty young mom who walks over to me, points her finger in my face and through her clenched teeth calls me a BLEEPING umpire. For ‘bleeping’ fill in the expletive of your choice.
Just a few short hours later I am welcomed home by my loving wife, my daughter, pizza, a pitcher of ice tea, and a big bottle of ibuprofen. All five are a welcomed sight as this ‘inside dog’ sits in his easy chair with blistered feet up, resting his sunburned body (even my lips are burned), and feeling every bit of my AARP legal existence.
The moral of this story is .. this is a wonderful world God has blessed us with. And a beautiful summer day in Minnesota can be almost Heaven… but 17 games in this Heaven on Earth can be TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING.
May God bless and use you this summer in ways that are BEYOND YOUR DREAMS. May the sun be shining, and the sunblock readily available, may your heat index NOT be 110,... and may no one call you a bleeping umpire!
AND remember there is hot and there is HOT!
Jeff (in the AC now) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson