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Rossford UMC
To Know Christ and to Make Christ Known

    10:30 am Worship

  • Monday, October 2, 2023

    Psalm 49: 9-12

    9 Come now and look upon the works of the Lord,
    what awesome things he has done on earth.
    10 It is he who makes war to cease in all the world;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.

    11 "Be still, then, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth."
    12 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.


    All manner of things will be well.

    This incredible statement from Julian of Norwich, a 14th-century Christian mystic, is worth pondering in a world filled with all manner of unwellness. I worked for decades as a journalist. Took the work seriously. Felt called to seek to inform the communities where I worked about activities in government, business, sports, and all the activities of everyday living. This included how to make a delicious cake, how to process garden weeds into mulch, and how to clean paint brushes.

    Everything became grist for the journalistic mill, but looking back, I see how much time was devoted to “important” topics. City council. Politics. Police and fire activity. The courts. Problems. Corruption. Competition. The newspaper’s pages poured out “unwellness,” day in and day out. How little time we spent examining the joy of life.

    For about 10 years, I was assigned to a so-called regional desk in Fort Wayne. The job was one step down from the important local news operation. The little two-person desk was assigned to cover an area of 19 mostly rural counties. An almost impossible task. Dozens of city councils, police departments, courts, schools, and hospitals. We were reduced to reading small local newspapers, making a few calls, and rewriting the news, often a day later than the local paper. It's hard for youngsters to envision a world where all news is not immediately available on one’s telephone.

    The only way we could compete was to find and tell stories the little local papers hadn’t found. A wondrous challenge.  

    I once interviewed a woman picking apples alongside a country road. I had driven down the road in search of Arctic, IN, a small town marked on a state map as an almost invisible dot.

    “Where is Arctic,” I asked the woman?

    “Right here,” she said. “It’s gone. It disappeared a long time ago, and no one ever bothered to take it off the map.”

    Arctic had disappeared into a small orchard. I told its tale, and the state changed its maps.

    Another day, I spent the morning in a tiny store/café out in the country near Auburn, IN. An elderly Lebanese immigrant woman ran the place, which featured a giant pot-bellied stove at the center of the store. Chairs surrounded the stove, and local farmers gathered there each morning to share local tales and drink strong Lebanese coffee and eat Lebanese pastries. Immigrant status meant nothing in that happy room.  

    Then there was the city couple, living in a ramshackle red-brick farmhouse tucked between two very large farms. They had had enough, they said, of the rush of the city. Together, they bought the farmhouse and were renovating it. Had built a beautiful fireplace-in-the-round using bricks from an old falling-down garage. I remember discovering a long line of bittersweet plants growing in a fence near their drive, harvesting some of them, and making a beautiful table arrangement.

    I interviewed a 100-year-old man who worked full-time moving livestock at a weekly auction, another guy who had bet friends he could collect and recycle one ton of aluminum cans in one year. The task was so immense he had to build a little machine to crush the cans, which he stored in his barn until he hit the one-ton mark. While working on that story, I met his friend, a guy who ran a saw-sharpening shop, something that disappeared long ago in the invasion of the box stores. I remember a young couple who had built a beautiful log cabin in the midst of a 100-acre woods and who were living their lives as pioneers. No electric light. No running water. Their children romped, healthy and alive, through the woods.

    Sent out once to write an article about the wheat harvest, I captured a close-up photo of stalks of wheat bowed and bent by the abundant weight of the grain, the harvester, shadowy and immense, moving slowly toward it. The bread of life.

    All manner of things were well.

    Finally, though, I worked my way into the big time. Running a desk of reporters pouring out page after page of bad news. Murders. Fires. Political in-fighting.

    Now, looking back, I wonder if the little life stories weren’t the most important thing. While journalists pour out oceans of hate each day in the form of news stories, most of life continues, filled with wondrous blessing. Indeed, all manner of things are well. Families. Homes. Jobs. The beauty of nature. Relationship.

    All one needs to access wellness is a moment of stillness. A moment to remember. To be thankful. To experience joy. In silent stillness, one can experience healing and peace, no matter the chaos on every side. There, in the quiet, God shatters the spears and burns the shields.

    Makes all manner of things well.


    Hymn of the day: We See the Fruitful Harvest. Online at We see the fruitful harvest - YouTube.




    Rev. Lawrence Keeler



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