April 2016 Verse of the Month


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105, NRSV

Verse of the Month – March 2016

Light and Life

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

Verse of the Month – February 2016


For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

Forgiveness without excuse


What is inexcusable is not the same as what is unforgivable. In fact, there is more need of forgiveness for the inexcusable than for anything else. To forgive is not to excuse or make excuses, and to seek forgiveness does not mean asking to be excused. Forgiveness is an act of grace, and cannot be conditioned on the severity (or lack thereof) of the offense.

This is seen clearly in Romans chapters 1and 2, where certain persons are said to be “without excuse” on account of their activities (Romans 1:20), and others are called “inexcusable” when they judge the first set (Romans 2:1).

To forgive an offender does not, then, minimize the offense.  It does, however, set both the offender and the forgiven free: free to grow beyond the present circumstance, not to be bound or defined by the offense that broke the relationship, but free to move forward into new possibilities. This is what love does, what grace does.    It creates the conditions for positive change. It makes such change possible. It helps the offender to separate from the inexcusable act, to experience, as it were, a new birth.

Verse of the Month — October 2015


But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

James 3:17


from a note, tucked away six years ago :

Life is always on the edge. The interface between then and now, the already and the not yet, between the known and the unknown, between hope and dread, between having seen this movie before and embarking on a new adventure.

We live in the illusion of predictability, and for the most part that suits us. Our routines call forth not much in thought or effort; indeed, many days we could drift through with our eyes closed. Only pain, or great pleasure, or the shock of the unfamiliar, with all the attendant fears that carries along, seems enough to wake us briefly from our quotidian somnolence.

Life is on the edge. In a tree it grows just inside the bark, stretching it, making it crack. It’s in the leaves, exposed to sun and air; it’s in the tender roots that explore the soil, thirsting for new moisture and digging into virgin rock, sometimes. It’s in what changes.


Personal notes: Health log

Warning: personal information to follow. If you don’t want TMI, stop reading now.

Part of integrity is telling the truth about oneself.  Having learned in July from medical professionals that the source of my leg tremors, general muscle stiffness, and a generous handful of other minor but annoying symptoms are officially now known to be caused by early stages of Parkinson’s disease, I have of course taken up the study of this phenomenon, so as to know what I might have to look forward to.

“No cure” is of course the first thing you learn wherever you look for information. Other scary words like “degenerative,” “progressive” and so on are similarly discouraging, and of course since one of those minor annoying symptoms that is likely to develop is something known in the medical biz as “Depression” (hmm, what a surprise!) there is a temptation to throw away the fine print, close the web browser, get a nice bowl of ice cream and curl up to await further, um, developments.


There are a number of steps that can be taken to slow the progress, or more accurately regress, of this disease. One is medication, and I’m now six days into my first period of treatment. By Day Four I was noticing improvements: tremors less severe, walking less lopsidedly, a few things like that.  Maybe that’s part of normal daily fluctuations, but I’ll take it.  And now, thanks to the timely notification from an alert member of our congregation,  I’m learning that encouraging results are happening with new treatments being tested quite near to me.

But the main thing I am learning is that nothing is really inevitable, and the best currently available treatment is exercise and other physical and mental activity. So rather than curl up in resignation, it’s time to step up my game.  I’m starting with thirty push-ups every morning. Plenty more to follow.   Look out, world, here I come.

Bob Buehler's Wordpress blog

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