Fifty years ago – 1 minute read

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I graduated from Auburn University fifty years ago this week. I’ve spent the last four years reminiscing about my experiences there. Auburn was the nest in which adult Drew hatched. I made decisions there about who I would be for a lifetime.

I’ve tried to place myself in the mind of young Drew. He had no idea how rich and wonderful his life would be. My retrospect has made me profoundly grateful for my life.

My time-trip has been immensely enjoyable. I’m saddened it is over. But wait! This week, fifty years ago, began a series of amazing new adventures. Next we’re off to California to report to the job four years of hard work earned. I can re-enjoy being a young man from a small town in Alabama in a completely different world. All leads up to meeting my life-partner Kit.

I pray that you can look back and relish your good and bad experiences. Their memory can make life almost unbearably rich.

Drew

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Why is Drew wearing only underwear?  ½ minute read

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Kit and I took a vacation—as if we needed one living where we do—in Alaska. I had already caught a nice salmon in the Kenai River when we hiked into U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area.  There we found perfectly pristine and remote Hidden Creek. Big trout continually broke the water surface out of range of my cast. So, I took off my hiking boots and jeans then barefooted into the cold clear stream. There I hooked a salmon-sized rainbow until it jumped a yard out of the water and threw the hook.  What a thrill!

You don’t have to land every fish to love the experience.

Drew 

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Dealing with a Ministry Setback –1 minute read

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I am sad. Kit and I have recently experienced a major ministry setback. Why are we disappointed? Doesn’t Romans 8:28 promise God works things for “good?” Yes, but not necessarily for the best that could have happened. God may allow free will of others to thwart the best. We are disappointed for the couples who might not get our help.

The first church I joined post-college emphasized “Store up for yourself treasures in heaven,” (Matt 6:20) as motivation to do good works. I pondered, Is heaven somehow nicer for those who serve for rewards? I concluded that God would reward those who helped others on His behalf out of a loving heart, but not for a desire for rewards.

We’ve had setbacks before. Previously, God’s words to David after forbidding him to build the temple, “… you did well that it was in your heart,” (2 Chron 6:8) comforted me. Not this time. I hope God has made my heart more pure seeking neither the heavenly rewards or even God’s awareness, but only the benefit of others.

Comments about this subtle and perhaps controversial idea are welcome. And knowing that the “good” is still good, Kit and I are proceeding with an alternate plan.

In Our Lord,

Drew

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Catching Creative Compassion

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Kit has written an article published by Cru’s Global Staff Women all over the world. The following link to her ideas remains on our More Than Ordinary Lives website.

Catching Creative Compassion

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge – 1 minute read

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The hallway in my engineering school had a TV set continually playing a loop of a falling bridge. In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failed due to dynamic instability in a relatively mild forty mile-an-hour wind.

I watched the tape hundreds of times waiting for my engineering classes. The unspoken message to aspiring engineers could not be mistaken, “Listen to what we teach you. Don’t make a catastrophic mistake.” This may have been the most important lesson I learned in college.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge–rebuilt more thoughtfully in 1950–is about thirty miles from where we now live. Kit and I frequently drive over it, now two bridges to accommodate four lanes. Recently we hiked over.

I love the bridge as a reminder of my college days and for the lesson it taught me. Catastrophe can follow neglect of scientific or spiritual principles. Learn solid principles and carefully apply them.

Drew

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Weeds? – 1 minute read

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Pictured are wild foxgloves growing in our yard. The tallest is over seven feet and growing. We have hundreds ringing our house all natural. Before moving to Washington, we had bought foxgloves from nurseries and struggled to keep them alive.

Many people in Washington consider the foxgloves growing everywhere to be weeds. And admittedly, they get into everything. But the difference in how we see them can illustrate two competing principles: “Value what you have.” and “To much of a good thing.”

Our chilly Washington weather may be “To much of a good thing.” Today temperatures here are expected to reach 70 degrees for only the third time this year. That may sound wonderful to those now suffering oppressive heat. But chilly temperatures also have a downside. Planted seeds just won’t germinate. Starting in May, I planted green beans six times using four packets of seeds for five struggling plants. I had to plant supposedly cool-loving potatoes three times before getting them to grow.

My goal is to “Value what you have,” despite my melancholy personality. The foxgloves are beautiful and for free! Chilly weather is good for sleeping!

Drew

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Childless on Fathers Day

Now What

Bible Advocate Magazine is publishing an article by me on their Now What feature.  You can access the article at a safe site, https://nowwhat.cog7.org/.

Kit and I share Bible Advocate’s belief that Scripture has meaningful answers for life’s struggles. Providing biblical solutions builds credibility in Scripture and gives us opportunities to share the gospel in the context of compassion and love.            Drew

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Banking Time – 1 minute read

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Kit has left me. No, not because of marriage issues. She went to California to watch over her ninety-six-year-old mother while her sister went out-of-town.

Anticipating Kit’s departure, we had attacked a mountain of  critical jobs and finished them together. I then made to-do lists of important projects to stay busy in her absence. Already operating at high efficiency, I completed the to-dos in about three days. Without Kit, nothing seemed fun. I can’t remember ever being so bored.

After wasting eighteen hours binge watching an obscure TV series, I needed to get off my butt. I made new lists with chores I had put off hoping that Jesus would return and make them irrelevant. But while engaged in tedious tasks, my mind created a new concept. I was banking time. Using idle time to do the impossibly boring could free up time later in happier circumstances.

The concept cheered me up. Because my nature deemed banking time to be a good investment.

Redeem the time  Ephesians 5:16

Drew

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8½ % Inflation ? ? ? – 1 minute read

Gas PricesThe highest inflation since 1981!” the broadcaster reported. Kit and I looked at each other. Newly home from Africa, we had married in 1981. Our first home came with a budget-choking 14% interest rate as the Federal Reserve fought inflation. We managed by driving used clunkers, no meals out, and rabbit ears for a thirteen-inch TV. For our one-year anniversary and 1st vacation, we scraped together $100 in cash, drove to Charleston, and stayed until the money ran out.

Today those with low locked-in interest rates need not be so draconian. Kit and I plan to manage simply by using 8½ % less of everything starting with food. We could benefit from eating less anyway. Gasoline? Oops. We’ll need to use 37% less gas. We only heat and cool our home when we have company. No chance of saving there. Our minimal service Internet and cable costs nearly 10% of our income. I doubt the cable company will give us a break. Unlikely with house and car insurance as well. Property taxes here are nearly triple what we paid in Arkansas. No 8½ % short-payment of taxes allowed. Maybe managing won’t be so easy after all.

“Social Security is indexed to inflation,” Kit and I assured ourselves. But the increased cost of Medicare deducted from Social Security took virtually all of this year’s inflation adjustment. Still we’re grateful to be healthy, energetic, and not in Ukraine. Our divided country is unlikely to take the difficult steps necessary to deal with inflation. Hunker down folks. We’re planting potatoes.

Drew Coons

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I got it from my father by Kit – 1½ minute read

Kit and Baby

I recently returned from a trip to meet my great niece. What a delight! She turned six months old while I visited. She is so cute. As every family does, we tried to figure out who she looks like. Mommy, Daddy, perhaps a Great Aunt? In this case, Kinsley looks very much like her daddy. Okay, one for Daddy. Well then, how about those little fingers and toes? Mommy or Daddy? And her giggle that makes us smile from ear to ear. Which reminds me, whose ears does she have?

Of course as she gets older, Kinsley will reflect her mother and father in more important ways. She might discover an athletic talent, musical talent or love of science. I remember recognizing in myself, traits from my mother and father. My easy going personality is much like my father and I love to decorate my home like my mother. Whether nurture or nature every parent delights in seeing themselves reflected in their child. The joy of family.

This week I had the opportunity to go the extra mile for a friend. Afterwards, my thought was, “I got that from my father.” But in this case, I didn’t think of my earthly father. Rather I thought about my heavenly Father. Whenever I choose to be unselfish, give without expecting anything in return, or forgive quickly and completely I can honesty say, “I got that from my Father.”

As God’s child, I have the opportunity to reflect Him in the way I live my life. My hope is that His heart delights when He sees Himself reflected in me.

Proverbs 27:19 “As the water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” (NIV)

Kit

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