GRACE IN THE GROWING SEASON: A Memoir

3rd edition, 2017

…his word is in my heart like a fire…I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9b)

Introduction


The Old Testament prophet—my namesake—speaks well for me. It’s been an uncommon life, uncommonly blessed in spite of my uncommon unworthiness, and I cannot hold it in. As the psalmist says, I want the world to know what God has done for me (Psa. 66:16), from an Illinois prairie farm through the Orient aflame and the Old World in a Cold War at the point of a supersonic spear; from the urban madness of Europe and America in corporate jets and limousines; from the delectable Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to a mesa at the base of majestic Pikes Peak; and a seven-year fulltime RV Tour of God’s magnificent North American creation. It’s been uncommonly wonderful....

Mountaintops (chapters)


My Heroine
My Hero
Sundays with the Good Shepherd
Christmas at Ed and Lucy Mae’s
Claus, the Agrarian Anachronism
Basic Education
Proximate Evil and Ultimate Good
Winter Morning Misery
Herb the Horrible’s Night in Hog Heaven
Born Again
Running Interference for Baby Brother
Jumpmaster
Honor Code Crash and Burn
Over the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Greater Love Has No Man
Still the Noblest Calling
War Must Happen
Karen
Football Fanatics
Fathers and Sons
Mothers and Daughters
Codger
Dancing the Wild Blue, Part I
Dancing the Wild Blue, Part II
A Lesson From Major Curmudgeon
Arrogance and Airplanes
A Valentine for Logan
Our Hope
A Different Sort of Retirement
The Isaiah 6:3 Position Report
Christmas at the Foot of the Bed
An Old Testament Testimony
A New Testament Witness

Epilogue


The inside cover pockets of my leather Bible case have long been the safe place for those written communications I treasure most from family and friends I hold most dear. One of the items that has resided there for 30 years now is a picture postcard of a beautiful church steeple in a leafy setting in Charleston, SC, sent to me by my then pre-adolescent daughter. She was visiting there with her best friend and family. The message was brief. In her little girl handwriting it said, “I saw this church steeple and I thought of you, Dad.” Wiped me out! God willing, even after many, many years walking golden furrows in heaven with my father, I pray that church steeples will still be reminding my beloved daughter of her father.

In the same manner, I pray that this memoir, and especially this New Testament Witness, will forever remind my five grandchildren that their grandfather, whose love for them is exceeded only by the love of their Sovereign God, is a most grateful debtor to His Grace. It has been, and ever will be my daily prayer, that the Holy Spirit will likewise work continually in their hearts, and that we will all spend eternity perfected, together in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And may every reader be wrought upon by the same Holy Spirit of the Living God…and join us in our eternal bliss.

Sola Gratia. Soli Deo Gloria.

Family--no greater blessing