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Spring jumps at us for too brief a moment in southern Louisiana. "Here am I.  Briefly," says spring. Poet e. e. cummings noticed the leafing greenly spirits of trees and so should we. Paying attention and staying awake are dual spiritual practices.

Easter Bet ~ If I made bets, I'd bet that virtually every preacher in the land will mention fool in Easter homilies, owing to the fact that Easter in the west occurs on April 1. The calendar inspires me to get an early start on a homily:  If the world says that it is smart to be cruel, then let us be fools for truth, compassion, non-violence, and justice.

Blast from the Past ~ I delivered the following prayer on an opening day at the State Legislature back in 1985, published in our church newsletter in May of that year, under the column entitled, Crump's Concerns: "We might come here this morning to pray asking God to do this, that, and the other, but should we pray for that which is well within our power to change and to do?  What is our business in asking God for help in balancing budgets when we already know how to make just calculations?  What is our business in asking God to forgive us for regressive taxation, when we know already what it is when we see it? What is our business in asking God to protect the poor of our state when we already know that it is well within our power this day to make and administer just laws?  What is our business in asking God to protect the rights of prisoners, the elderly, the disadvantaged . . . This morning, I offer an un-prayer as we come to do our serious work involving the public trust, asking from God not one iota for that which we can do ourselves . . . ." 

Another Blast from the Past ~Within the first 50 days of my ministry here, the late Ed Driedger, well known for being direct, said, in so many words, "It is time you knew of our plans for a fund drive to replace the roof of our church building.  We need you to support the effort."  This would become the first of the five capital drives in which I was engaged on this campus.  I came up with a plan. I would search the scriptures and with the help of a handy concordance, I shared how biblically based a roof drive was because I found roof-proofs throughout my bible, some of these landed in the church newsletters in 1983: "Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (Ps. 137:6) "But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof."  (Joshua 2:6) "It happened late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof on the King's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful." (2 Samuel 11:2)  Yes, we raised the money for the new roof.