Pine Tree Ministries

The Gift No One Wants

I, like many young children, used to scour the house for unwrapped Christmas presents, longing to know what I was going to receive for Christmas that year. Sometimes I would find something that I knew was to be mine in only a few more days. There was something about the search, and the finding, which made the threat of being caught worth it. My folks always purchased nice gifts for me and there was great pleasure in finding them and,...

Read More

Safe in the Arms

My verse, my only verse, in the depths of my black years was Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” I know that is not the whole verse, but I always tell people, half jokingly, that I wasn’t strong enough to handle a whole verse, a half of a verse was my limit. My prayer to the Lord at that time was that even if I could not feel those arms that He would...

Read More

God is Big Enough-Even for Today

Every so often, my wife and I will get word that a grandchild and their spouse are expecting a new addition to their home. Each time, we will look at each other and say, “I would hate to be bringing another child into the perversion of this world.” They are probably similar words to what my parents said when my wife and I announced the pending birth of our children. Each generation believes that raising children in their day was...

Read More

Too Hard for God?

"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son." Genesis 18:14 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17 If I were in front of a room of 32 Christians and asked each...

Read More

The Writer’s Womb

I would write about the difficulty of writing, but I have tried, it is too difficult. I have long thought that the most difficult job in the world would be to have to write a daily, or even a weekly, column for a newspaper or periodical. How would I write something that is “me” when the “me” I am looking for is nowhere to be found? My writing is an extension of the me that few people see until my...

Read More

May I be Excused from Church Now?

The Church, the Body of Christ, evokes widely divergent responses depending on your latest experiences in church. Some have warm feelings of a loving body of believers who seem to exist solely to draw each other closer together in Christian unity. Some others may be feeling the pain, the grief, of a church split, a messy divorce as brothers and sisters in the Lord wage war on each other.  There are a thousand variations of the above two choices. How does...

Read More

I would have pulled you out…

One of my worst nightmares (seriously) growing up was being caught in quicksand. It was not something I should have been too concerned about because I have lived my entire life in Northern Michigan on pretty high ground where I hardly ever read in the local newspaper about some hunter or mushroom picker being swallowed by quicksand. We didn’t have television when I was young, but every so often we would visit a favorite uncle who did have a black and...

Read More

One Plot…A Million Movies

Anyone who has watched three or more Hallmark movies, now knows the plot for every Hallmark movie that follows. A young woman leaves her high-pressure, big city career to travel back to her small hometown. On the way, her car breaks down and the man who operates the only wrecker service comes to help her. The tension between them is immediate and palpable. Their dislike for each other cuts through the air. At this point, there is one thing you...

Read More

Getting in Shape

I decided that I wanted to get in better physical condition before my next birthday. I enjoy walking in the woods so thought that would be the place to start. My favorite place to walk is at the Wildwood Cross Country Ski Trails. I have explored that area with my father and other family members since I was 12 years old, so it has many warm memories as well as a place for me to enjoy the out of doors. At...

Read More

Grammar

I have a love/hate relationship with those who are gifted in grammar. In 2008, I was part of a group writing a history book of some important people buried in Greenwood Cemetery. A relative of one of the families we were writing about asked to see the draft copy before we printed the book. After reading about two sentences, she saw a need. In her subtle, yet direct way she suggested it might be good if she cleaned up some...

Read More

How Much Can the Locusts Eat?

Joel 2:25 KJV And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. Every so often my mind wanders back to a bygone time. Some days that time seems like only yesterday and other times, it seems so far away I wonder if it really ever existed at all. Was it all only a dream? Or a nightmare? There we were, my wife...

Read More

Wrestling in the Streets

I spent an hour in District Court this morning, not as a participant thankfully but as an observer. I was interested in a case dealing with a mentally challenged young man who inserted himself unknowingly into my life a few months ago. He has struggled with this affliction for many years, been in and out of trouble with the law and society and in and out of mental institutions. Because the proceedings did not start on time I had time...

Read More