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Beyond the Blur (The Via Lucis)

September 19, 2014

“And on his breast a blood cross he bore, The dear remembrance of his dying Lord, For whose sweet sake the glorious badge he wore.”-Spencer   Stephen fell like a stone off the edge of Masada before landing hard upon the dusty sandstone floor of the stoning pit. The condemned man rolled onto his stomach, put his hand upon the wall of the abyss, and willed his bruised body to obey. Gripping the grainy rock…

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To Vietnam and Back

September 17, 2014

In December 2008, my wife Annie and I found a two-year emotional and spiritual journey coming to an end. Two years is how long it took for our adoption journey — what began as a late night conversation about adoption in 2006 —to reach its culmination. That August we’d received pictures of a two-month-old little girl who was to become our daughter, and then on a Tuesday in December we got the call that it was…

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Chaetophobia: mY StRaY HaiR frEaK oUt!

September 15, 2014

You must first realize that I meant no harm.  It was an accident. I am a bit of a chaetophobe.  That is, I have a strong discomfort with loose strands of hair.  It’s not like hair freaks me out all the time.  Attached to a head, I find it perfectly harmless.  But disconnected from its master, it becomes something repulsive and hostile.  If I see a long strand of dark hair on a counter top,…

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God’s Murderers (The Via Lucis)

September 12, 2014

“You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.” -Amos 5:26, 27 Dragged before the Sanhedrin, just as Jesus had been over a year ago, Stephen was charged by false witnesses who were inflamed by their leaders. Envy, anger and ignorance fueled their murderous accusations. High Priest Caiaphas, only too familiar with the scenario, and…

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Wind to Move the Clouds

September 10, 2014

Gordon and I have friends whose idea of a vacation is strapping their toddler on their backs and hiking the Continental Divide. Lord bless their hearts. MY idea of a vacation, of course, is going (alone) to a forgotten beach where I can sip a perspiring margarita and read “Us Weekly.” This is why I will be a middle school janitor when I get to Heaven. No, we Rhodes are loathe to travel very far…

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September 8, 2014

My career as a snake wrangler began during a Jr. High science class field trip to the Wisconsin Dells. While looking at geological formations I spotted the wiggling pea-green body of a grass snake. A few other students saw the serpent. By their shrill screams and scampering feet you would have thought Sasquatch had suddenly appeared out of the forest. I was a quiet, shy kid with an over-active imagination and a longing for adventure….

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The Good ol’ USA

September 3, 2014

Many of us who were raised in the US were told on a regular basis how most of the world would exchange places with us on any given day. “We live in the best country in the world”. “Love it of leave it”. You have heard the comments. And the truth be told we have some pretty good reasons to want to live here: free public education for all, an excellent justice system, top healthcare,…