Oft times unnoticed
a switch is thrown: “ON!”
and things begin to happen…

Robins are back
buds are swelling
and the grass begins to grow
faster, and faster, and faster!

Winter’s brown is pushed aside
and green grows the earth
the carpet is alive!

the grass drinks in the sun
and suckles on the soil
lush is the operative word


Easter fits so well!

What seems impossible
a switch it thrown
for all mankind
things begin to happen

The whole earth is singing!
Around the globe songs rise up
Hearts swell
souls begin to grow
hope springs and grows
and faster
and faster!

The people drink in remembrance
drawing on creation
“Alive!” is the operative Word…


Selah, Easter 2015, Lin



Shifting Gears


The farm, well mechanized,
has lots of tires, lots of motors,
and lots of shifting transmissions,
shifting gears
As seasons shift
so must we
to match our efforts
to changing tasks
Winter has us pondering
computing and thinking
How to make the numbers work
Changing prices, inputs and outcomes,
somehow we need more ‘leftover’
more income than outgo
So we make our plans
and launch
Into springtime
the glorious bursting forth of life
of seeds into mothering soil
of plants growing like crazy
and war against weeds, insects and disease
Shifting gears, summer slides in
more sun, warmer sun
summer rains just in time
and preparing for harvest
Shed doors fly open
and machines roar to life
House sized machines come out
groomed for enormous tasks
of devouring, sifting and sorting
and delivering the goods

Once again long hours
workers glued to seats
Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen hour days
before sun up, to after sun down
with better and better lights
and machines that guide by satellite
yet need our eyes and ears
Seasons of shifting gears
decades of doing it better
more efficiently
more productively
What a privilege we have
with freedom and capitalism
to study hard, earn, and return
giving thanks
Time to shift our gears
it is, indeed, Thanksgiving time!
Selah,  Lin 2014


Shifting Gears2022-09-03T14:52:52-04:00

The Alleluia Chorus


Indeed there are tears of sorrow
shaking us in our core
spontaneously erupting
After all
Jesus wept
Peter wept
The mothers and those who loved Him wept
Death sometimes swallows not just the deceased
but those who go on living
in the deep dark shadows of separation
touch stolen
living and breathing but not whole
This background was added to
by unjustness, evil
pouring out, anger unleashed
by torture
The worst that cruelty could image
was done
The stone was rolled away…
the grave cloths left
the story of the ages unfolded, as foretold
Christ has RISEN!
No wonder, then,
that warm tears of joy pour forth
that we must sing
must sound trumpets and tyrannies
Hope born was murdered
but rose from the grave
walking, talking, breaking bread
appearing again and again
making a way for us
to live victoriously
prepare for you, for me,  a mansion
and open the doors of heaven
So here we join the Alleluia chorus
for just a tiny whiff
of life forever
Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Selah, Easter, 2014 

The Alleluia Chorus2022-09-03T14:52:57-04:00

The Wonder of It All


The setting
a terminal moraine
south of Philo
center of the universe
for an interesting group of people
A clearing in the woods
just happened
as trees have been planted
over thirty years passing
But a just right space
on a just right summer’s day
as the setting for beauty unfolded
A bride, a groom, and guests
Honor bestowed
to brides, now mothers
escorted with care
to the honored seats
Dads are tag alongs
in more ways than one
on wedding days
Gotta be there
on best behavior
but kept out of the way
Except the bride’s dad, father
gets to escort his daughter
and give her away
one last kiss
one enormous passing
closing, partly
what a challenge
Reflections fly
as he remembers
a couple of decades in a flash
Feeling her first movements
before her birth
and then the birth
so grand, so impossible
but oh so real
Holding her close
tiny little person
studying her face
her fingers and toes
her eyes and eyelashes
watching her breathe
and watching her first protestations
Good lungs!
Born with a temper!
So at peace
as she slept
her face nestled
her body so relaxed
rocked to sleep
but dad not wanting to put her down
Another sunny morning
tossing a ball back and forth
and running a race
she laughed so hard as she ran
and passed me up!
Seated tensely on her new bike
dad’s hand on the seat, steadying
he trotted along for a ways
and then set her free
the first of many ‘letting goes’
The dad says his lines:
‘Her mother, and I.”
Oh, the wonder of it all
generations passing
a baby makes a little noise somewhere
grandma and grandpas focus keenly
couples in the audience clasp each others hands
remembering, savoring the moments
Ceremony and reception over,
 the newly weds drive away,
honeymooners, at last alone…
Selah,  Lin 8/2014 

The Wonder of It All2022-09-03T14:52:59-04:00

Holy Week


Looking back on half a century
and the time and season of planting
I can bear witness, I think
to something said to me back at the beginning:
“Holy Week the weather’s always troublesome!”
How about 48 out of 50?
That’s how often I wanted to plant
but weather intervened.
This year’s no exception!
Cold front.  Rain.  Dark.
Okay, Palm Sunday maybe better,
but then it falls apart.
No way tiny seeds
would like to be ensconced
in cold wet soil.
Wait!  Anticipate!
Easter is coming!
How fitting,
I think,
that weather often helps us
sort through our plans, our efforts
to give us a lesson (another)
on how small we are
how dependent on larger ‘things’!
So we trudge through the week
machinery all captured
behind closed doors
and we think.
Shouting, happy crowds
Hosanna!  Hosanna!
The whole world is singing
but then the world turns
and evil pours out
flooding the same streets with anger
One man, the focus
Lies. False accusations. Weak leaders.
Claiming great power:
“Don’t you know I have the power of life and death over you?”
The quiet man speaks:
“You have no power, except that given you from above.”
At another point
a rooster crows,
and the quiet man looks…at his disciple.
Oh, how often, eyes can lock between persons
and volumes are shared
without words being spoken
It’s Friday
but Sunday’s coming….
Selah, Lin 2014 

Holy Week2022-09-03T14:53:01-04:00

Christmas Characters


Some two thousand years ago
a parade of folks was moving
urged along by a star
A star above, Bethlehem,
small town Israel
plain people, none of note
But along came a couple
wife a young mother to be
husband a good sort of fellow
and the baby came
in a stable
Born in a barn, of sorts,
this little fellow
drew a line in mankind’s calendar
Anno Domino, came to be
They named him Jesus.
Out in the country
shepherds tended their sheep
as good shepherds do
But the star was overcoming
and drew them to that stable
Wise men from far away
noted the star as well
and they journeyed to that stable
bearing their significant gifts
The tiny babe set in motion
a king so powerful
he could order all small boys killed
He did, to solve a threat
But he missed one
just one
So here we are,
2013, Anno Domini
and we are challenged
to stop, reflect
on history before, and history after
and how it fits today
Can we be part
of that long parade
and visit the stable
and wonder
Like Mary, treasuring in our hearts
the story, and Jesus
“O Come, all Ye Faithful,
joy full and triumphant!” 
Lin, Christmas 2013 

Christmas Characters2022-09-03T14:53:03-04:00

Dads and Sons


Two times
I saw grandpa cry
First time was at Camp Butler
His only heir was being buried
the casket lowering into the grave
the pale blue eyes were flooded
he was so quiet
The whole place, big cemetery
was quiet too.
A sob was heard here and there
as folks remembered him
the fallen Captain
life snuffed out in far away Normandy
St. Lo, they said.
Fierce fighting
A man of few words
a thinker
who worked so hard
watching his dreams return to the soil
Too soon!
Generations pass
and memories fade, pass away
but there are markers
We should walk there
reflecting on this one and that one
Names from all nations
who became America
and stepped forward for the test
What price will you pay
for freedom?
Dates of first breaths and last
carved into white stones
Long, straight lines, these markers
now stand at permanent attention
Years will pass
the stones will witness those who come
to remember, reflect
on who the person was, what they might have been
Yet they live on
in the markers God created
genes, faces, voices
hair and eyes and size and even mannerisms reflecting
the silent ones
they could but see and laugh and touch and hold
but they can’t, and won’t
So we are left to ponder, reflect,
and walk amongst the long white lines
of Camp Butler
Memorial Day
Camp Butler

Dads and Sons2022-09-03T14:53:08-04:00

Widows and Moms


Camp Butler, National Cemetery,
home to fallen soldiers and wives
sees a stream of folks coming
gathering for solemn ceremonies
followed by volleys of rifle shots
the whole graced
with tears
Widows with children
stand and watch, listen
kind words spoken
then flag folded purposefully
and handed to her
a gift from a grateful nation, preserved
A clang of metal against metal
as the half mast Camp flag flutters
whipping and snapping in the wind
Almost like notes, messaging,
snapping a salute
there is an unseen, but present
a dimension we sense is there
but we can’t see…yet.
Time passing,
the grave site is seeded
and the grass grows
as do the children
cars pass by on the nearby interstate
The flag flies high again, waiting,
for another procession to come
a bugle to blow
and more tears gracing this place
Resolved, said Lincoln
It shall not be in vain!
It hasn’t.
It isn’t.
Grandchildren, great grandchildren come
walk on the grass
soak in the peacefulness and wonder
at the long straight rows of markers
standing rigid at attention
“Ten Hut!”
Listen up!
Freedom is not free!
What will you pay?
Camp Butler
Memorial Day

Widows and Moms2022-09-03T14:53:09-04:00

Spike and Dunk!


Games have their moments
In volleyball it’s a spike
the ball sizzling straight
to the floor and a score
Yea!  All right!
and in basketball
when an arm arks down
and the ball is slammed through the net
Swoosh!  Yea!  All right!
Doesn’t life carry those moments too?
In a movie theatre somewhere
a young man slips his arm out
to carefully capture the shoulders
of a willing young lady…
A groom kisses a bride
sealing the deal, launching a marriage
A mother holds her child
a father does too
A person senses God
loves them, even them
Exclamation points
in the story of lives, of living
of knowing
Two young princes
of the kingdom Serendip
were out upon their quest
along their highway things happened
Spikes and Dunks, I think
that were much greater
than what they sought after
thus we have a word
to capture a happening
unplanned, yet believable
Indeed, we have Christmas
to detour from normal
God’s spike, God’s dunk
But wait!  There’s more!
Lin 12/15/2012 

Spike and Dunk!2022-09-03T14:53:12-04:00

Yes! Easter!


The wrenching of cold
Broken, crashed, by Easter!

It was mankind broken
at its worst
celebrating in evil
unjust accusations
warped trial
a sentence all wrong
the season of “Hosanna!”
gone wrong

No surprise the earth shook
no surprise the sky darkened
they won
He died


God had a plan
much bigger than man
God IS over all
including death

What horror at man’s sin
yet God’s grace triumphed
over sin
over death

He arose!
He lives!
Hosanna forever more!

Easter 2012, Lin


Yes! Easter!2022-09-03T14:53:30-04:00

Happy Tears


We humans are strange folks
our emotions try to prove it!
When pain comes our way
if it’s big enough
we cry

Warm tears flood from our eyes
as though the bad can be washed away
somehow, it does help
Does anyone know how?

Today I’m thinking of the other sort
the tears that flow from ‘happy’
Very, very happy!
Good! Very good!
Oh, so good!

A famous Army general
broke the ice with his comment:
“I don’t trust a man who doesn’t cry!”
This from a very tough guy.
So we now have license, we men!

I cried okay when a child
little boys were often admonished
‘Big boys don’t cry!”
I took that to heart.

At three decades I turned a corner
and gave my life to Christ
to be my Lord, my Savior.
Maybe you can guess what happened?
I cried.

So, for forty years now,
for exceeding happy
for sad and tender
I can cry.
And it’s okay.

50 years ago come April
I met the girl who married me.
50 years December
we’ll pause to celebrate the wedding.

I’ll bet the happy tears
would fill some buckets now!
Precious, the word,
has grown and grown
I put strong arms around the thought
and then around her
and I cry
little warm tears

Happy tears……

Lin 3/2010


Happy Tears2022-09-03T14:53:31-04:00

Wounded Hearts


Scientists search
but can’t find
exactly all the human dimensions
What we call ‘heart’
a case in point.

Neutrinos zoom
faster than light
continuing to amaze
and puzzle

Photons gather
yet appear in other places
continuing to amaze
and puzzle

Along life’s highway
babies are born
are locked in love for lifetimes
continuing to amaze
and puzzle

Death comes too
searing our hearts
landing with a thud
and breaking in to capture
hold us fast, in still motion
trying to grasp some meaning

“No two hundred year old saints’
my doctor friend is wont to say
and yes, we all know it
in our minds

Yet in our hearts we struggle
reaching back
drawing deeply
for the things that hold us

Music helps
soothing, giving vent
to warm tears
running down our faces
Hugs from friends and family
connections, heart to heart
sharing loss

Somehow in another dimension
one we cannot see, for now,
we sense a standing place
firm, above and beyond
the here and now

There is an empty tomb
there is a risen Savior
and He’s in the world today
walking, talking, along life’s narrow way…*

Lin, 1 Feb 2012
Easter Comes


Wounded Hearts2022-09-03T14:53:33-04:00

Christmas Rounds


“All is calm,
all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child…”*

There comes a moment, Christmas eve,
late at night in our house,
when the little ones sleep
and the packages are set
as well as the plans

The rounds have been made
to gather the gifts
the food is all waiting
to come to the table
and the mother sits

What a swirl of busy-ness
attends the Christmas season!
Practices and pageants
special services at schools and churches
vacations from schools and days off at work
Circling, swirling to this moment
when the mother ponders….

Once a year comes this time
when stores close
cold and silence settle in
The Christmas lights are prolific
shining in the dark night
lawn displays, Christmas trees
the star of David high on buildings

Wise men pondered
(and still do)
the event that marks our calendars
and our lives
‘O holy night’…

Two seasons lift music
to the highest realms
Christmas, and Easter
voices and orchestras soar
with the greatest offerings known

So, tonight, we pause
the attraction and bonding
brought by a baby
God’s gift to us

‘Sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.’*

Christmas Eve 2011
“Silent Night, Holy Night” (Stille Nacht), Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber


Christmas Rounds2022-09-03T14:53:34-04:00

Silent Night, Holy Night*


For just a few moments
my wish for you this evening
is that each of you had a rocking chair
and we had a just right fireplace right here
with a just right assembly of logs
burning just right

the warmth of the fire on your face
the coolness of the room behind you
the day is winding down

Step back with me now
through the ages, the people of the Bible

Abraham and Sarah,
the patriarchs and their spouses
years and generations passing
and now it’s a quiet night in Israel

The humidity is low as usual
and the night air is cold
The sky is sharp and clear
shepherds are watching a star
an unusual, very very bright star
light is flooding down to earth almost like daylight
the star seems to be beckoning them, so they follow it

Those who wonder can wonder about just how
a loving God could reach down to earth
touch his created in a way that would open eyes
open minds, and be a lasting gift
A gift foretold
a gift that was coming
The Light of the World came down

A baby
that’s the answer!
A dependent little fella
needing the care of his mom and dad
the connection to all people on earth

I’ve traveled to 6 of the seven continents
and it is true – with my own eyes I’ve seen it
the care of a mother and father for their baby….
There is no better connection on earth….

So there that night in Bethlehem
a baby’s first cry rang out

Now across two thousand years
we can still make that connection
We can come to Jesus
O come, let us adore Him!
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Lin Christmas Eve 2010
*Silent Night, Holy Night, Stille Nacht, Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber


Silent Night, Holy Night*2022-09-03T14:53:38-04:00



Life on the oops! edge
can sure be a bother!
My coffee maker pot just off
a fraction of an inch
can sure make a mess on the counter…
the floor!

A slight miscalculation
going down the stairs
or down a ladder
or off a curb
or or or
can jerk us with pain
or even fracture

Life sure has its ‘oops’!
a built in part
living makes them happen
Nah! Not an evil plot
of some devil sneaking
just an oops we’ve got

New Year’s Day is a time
to back off
think about a lot
GPS voices say
choosing some better road
better path somehow
The Right Way?

Where are we?
Where do we want to go”
Helps us set our sails anew
Oh, to hear the snap of sails
catching the wind just so
and the surge of ship going forward
crashing through the waves

Just like the sailing ship
we’re made to forward go
“Where to?” Is really the question…
No reverse for sailing ships
nor for us either….

Sail on, my friend,
though the water’s high
and the weather blows
there is a harbor somewhere, out there
but for now,
Sail on!

Lin, January 1, 1011



Family, Parkland Style


It came out again
at the annual holiday party
“Parkland is really a family”
said a long time Parkland person.

I looked around the room
seeing folks engaged with one another
smiles, laughter, concern
hand shakes and hugs
and men a few kisses on cheeks
respecting one another
enjoying being with one another

The common tasks
doing of them
does create some bonds
but there is another level
when the task involves
‘investing in people,
and things eternal’

In gifting of one’s best
doing it again and again
focused on students
who volunteer themselves
the giving to another
benefits all involved

Nested in there
the bond that forms
creates a family
and that’s where Parkland lives

So we know our role and play it
receiving awards along the way
not so much because we seek them
but more that others see us
gain from us
want to be like us

Holiday parties
so few times, really,
we pause to capture, share, feelings,
of respect, appreciation, being,
then hurry on into tomorrows
Selah, Lin 12/2011


Family, Parkland Style2022-09-03T14:53:54-04:00

Memorial Day ’04


Summer’s breezes lapping
leaves of richest green
Sunshine drenching
eager plants

Prairie moments
captured, precious
like all of nature

So complex!
so intriguing
microscopic to thousand acres
little snippits
of grand designing
seen scantly
thru a mirror dimly
then gone
then cascading more

tree branches waving
flowers nodding
“See me!”
Robins, finches

Children laughing, playing
Our hearts desires
of family gatherings
outdoor grills
baseball and golf
volleyball and croquet
Swimming! Diving!

Yet, shadows passing
loneliness, violence
loved ones dying
loved ones hurt
noise and dirt
anger and rage and
mankind lost in fury
A staff car arriving
officer coming to the door
“We regret to….”
And lives changed

Lessons to be learned
pondered, and passed on


Memorial Day ’042022-09-03T14:53:55-04:00

Seas of Emotions


A calm, quiet night
clear, cold desert air chilling
sky blanketed with an ocean of stars
A particular, specific star shone down
on a particular, specific stable
where a little boy was born

A first born
to a woman young
and a Godly man

The cover of time
slipped back in place

Yet, it seems,
almost back to back
that boy became a man
and came to town
Celebration time, the calendar said,
a remembrance of a people set free
Indeed, a cause for joy
and a parade

This particular man
in a specific way
rode through waves of people
Hosanna! Hosanna!
They shouted in happiness
and then it was over

The lowest spot on earth nearby
the lowest spot on earth was coming
Come Friday
the darkness, anger, despair and evil of man
would boil over
And a particular man
in a specific way
would walk a different road
ending on a wooden cross
Spikes, holding Him there
until darkness came
and the earth trembled
and a soldier said “Surely…”

We are created with emotions
We can climb the highest mountainsor sink in agonizing despair
We can laugh, our whole body shaking
or weep, and beg to die

The story has not ended
Because that particular man
in a specific way
broke the rules of life

Yes, he died, was buried,
but He rose again
Fully human, fully alive
He walked and talked and ate with friends

He is the link
between God and man
You see, now, that

“God sent His son
they called him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died
to buy my pardon
and empty grave is there
to prove He lives.
Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
all fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
just because He lives.”*

Selah, Easter, 4/10 Lin

*Gloria and Bill Gaither, 1971


Seas of Emotions2022-09-03T14:53:58-04:00

Fourth on Friday


They come our way
these “Extra Days”
a trick in our calendar minds

This year
Fourth of July
lands on Friday
Saturday looms ‘The Extra Day”

All day Friday
seems like Saturday
Not a weekday lined by work
not a Sunday, lined by church
So, somehow, in our mind,
Saturday is gifted
an extra day!
Friday’s Saturday
but no, not really….

All day Friday
we parade and gather
families BBQ, swimmers flock
then darkness brings the Boom Boom Boys
Thunder rumbles as firecrackers pop
and colors shoot into the sky
for just a few seconds
long plumes of orange (my favorite)
sparkle and fall
and stars explode so bright
Then they’re gone
thousands spent
we watch the smoke clouds slip away

Cars queue up
while little ones
nod their heads and snuggle
wrapped in loving arms

Next day, sun arising,
Saturday comes again!
We can do
all those things
waiting for ‘an extra day’
It’s Yours! It’s Mine!
Get some extra winks?
Read that book?
Take a nap? Get the fix it list

Enjoy your day!
It is a gift
(like all the others, really)
Hum the tune
you love to sing –

“This is the day,
this is the day
That the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Selah, Lin 07/08


Fourth on Friday2022-09-03T14:54:01-04:00

The Passport


Passages color life
sometimes, seemingly,
a kaleidoscope
A turn here, focus
bright times shining
passports document places
home provinces
traveling, entries, stamped

Birth to marriage is a passage
A given day
families and friends assemble
(church family too)
“In the presence of God and these witnesses”
two passports are presented
vows taken
stamped “Approved!”

Enter the marriage estate
two becoming one
walk well
the journey continues
yours to color
yours to twist and focus
life’s kaleidoscope….

Lin 1/2011
David and Courtney Graham


The Passport2022-09-03T14:54:04-04:00

Music for the Soul


Andy Williams crooning
about the season ‘wonderfull’
Bach and Brahms and Mendelsohn
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords
Forever, forever, forever

Silent Night, Holy Night…
So many artists
putting their arms around what happened
stretching, stretching, stretching
to reach a tiny baby
put it in perspective….

So here we are
two thousand years passing
putting our arms around what happened
and wondering

Ah, a song about that too!

I go for the wonder!
The awesome human attempts
to re-create the wonder, the majesty
that came to us
to each one who looks up
to each one with room at their ‘in’
to stretch, to reach
and put our arms around Him

We know we’re too small
much too small
Like our grand daughter
who tries to put her little arms around me
laughing and loving
full of life, she tries,
but relies on me
to swoop her up
and put my arms around her

Then she can put her arms
around my neck and squeeze
holding tight
“I love you grandpa!”

So we come to God, this season
knowing we’re too small
And God knowing
sent the baby
we can put our arms around
and begin
to know a bit of God….

Merry Christmas, Lin 09


Music for the Soul2022-09-03T14:54:13-04:00

Memorial Day


American Flags
red white and blue
fluttering in the breezes
Moments of crowd silence
the taps mournfully playing
Throats tighten
tears begin to flow
as memories of loved ones flood
as we look upon long lines
of white tombstones stretching
across the rolling hills

Freedom is not free
though for me and thee
it can be not costly
for we are here
to live our lives in prices paid
by these, the fallen, on our behalf

Walking past the tombstones
the dates call out the places
where men traveled, then fought and fell
to speak no more
to touch no more
to begin to lose their faces
Can we remember, see them smiling?
Less and less we see
that they were little babies
nursing at their mother’s breasts
They were students learning, graduating
surging out across life’s oceans
making their way in the larger world

Now they lay

What can we learn
from memories sweet
cherished loved ones there
what can we share
that has some meaning
for the pain they bore?

Life is precious
on that we need reflect
affirm it strongly
lift it up in prayer
to do our part
each one
to honor sacrifice
on our behalf
that it not be in vain.

Lin Memorial Day 08


Memorial Day2022-09-03T14:54:17-04:00

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