Up a Tree

(Note: Every Monday morning  I send out the Monday Morning Manna  email. Today's blog post is the email that went out this morning. If you'd like to learn more or sign up to receive it for yourself, check it out.)
As a kid, my first goal of the summer was toughening my feet enough to be able to walk barefoot on the needle covered ground. The back secction of our yard was covered in pine trees, and I spent hours playing among them, happily barefoot in the summer. I used skinny, downed trees to build forts and lean-tos and anything else my imagination created. The most special tree, however, wasn’t a pine tree at all.
In the back corner of the lot was a grand old cedar tree, its trunk too big for my arms to encircle, worn mostly smooth with time. The first branch was long, and oblong shaped, flowing straight out from the tree. By putting both arms over it, I could walk up the trunk and scramble onto the branch, relaxing with my back against the sweet...
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How not to derail a friendship

(This is a stock photo and not a picture of my friend and I. She would want you to know that.)

It wasn't always so smooth.

Yesterday I met an old friend for breakfast and at some point, as we always do, we savored the gratitude for such things. Early on in our friendship there was a K&W Cafeteria between our neighborhood, and our friendship was cemented over plates of eggs and cheese grits. But life moves on, as it always does. She moved to the other side of town. I moved to another town. That K&W closed.

Now, all of these years later we're not quite in the same town but close enough. And there's a K&W serving breakfast between us. So here we are again.

We've supported each other in dreams and walked with each other through a few nightmares. But such a grand friendship very early didn't get off the ground.

She and her family were new in our church, and being the sociable people they were they invited me, the Associate Minister, to their house for dinner. It was...

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