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Spring Has Sprung

Whenever I see a robin, I become gleefully excited—really, I do! No, I am not particularly a bird lover, but I am quite affectionate for a new season, when spring has sprung.

The connection is that returning robins (which are a migratory fowl) mark that spring is right around the corner and warmer weather will soon be upon us. The males return first to stake out a territory and the females follow later when the temperatures climb a bit higher.

Spring is an almost spiritual time for me, signaling reinvigorated life and a fresh start. Click To Tweet

Spring is my favorite season. Yes, summer is grand and fall is enjoyable (while I view winter as something to be survived). However, spring is the most splendid time of the year.

Springtime is when the cold dreariness of the winter fades, the dirty snow melts, and plants that were seemingly dead push forth green and are revived. Spring is an almost spiritual time for me, signaling reinvigorated life and a fresh start, a new birth of sorts.

Already I am starting to see which plants have survived the harshness of the winter months: the tulips and daffodils are just poking through.

Soon the grass will green and with it a slew of yard work will follow. But that’s okay, because it’s spring and I want to get outside and do something other than shiver.

I can firmly cheer that “spring has sprung!”

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Fall Weather is Seemingly Upon Us

Fall means that I won’t likely be watering the lawn anymore for the rest of the season and that mowing will occur much less often. So you think that I would look forward to fall because it means a lot less yard work. 

While this is true, there is one thing that I dislike about fall—the knowledge that winter will soon follow it.

Spring is my favorite season. To me, spring means new life, fresh beginnings, and personal rejuvenation. Summer is a close second, with the warm days and a break from the normal schedule.

Then comes fall, which weather-wise is an okay time of the year.  But winter is a time that I view as something to endure. I know, I need to develop a more positive attitude about the season of cold and snow, but it’s hard for me to do—and seemingly gets harder every year.

One thing that I dislike about fall—the knowledge that winter will soon follow it. But I need not to dwell and instead enjoy while it lasts. Click To Tweet

I used to think that my dislike for the winter months centered around the lesser number of daylight hours, but it turns out that is more of an incidental issue, with the cold temps and blowing snow as the central cause of my angst.

By working at home, I can largely avoid those twin threats, but by mid-winter, I start to get cabin fever, which is about as bad.

But right now, I need to not dwell on it—and enjoy fall while it lasts.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Birds, Lawn Sprinkling, and Nature

Years ago, on a Saturday, my lawn was again in need of liquid sustenance and I was in watering mode, repositioning sprinklers in half-hour increments. During one mid-morning trek, there were two birds on my deck railing.

I walked by them slowly, wondering how close I could get before they flew off in fear. They never did, even though I passed within a couple of feet. I’m not sure if they are immature, sickly, or both.

This continued for several hours, even when I made no attempt to slow my approach or quiet my steps. Desiring to snap a photo, I retrieved my camera. 

As I was setting it for an outdoor shot, I heard a loud thud. Looking up, only one bird remained on the rail, with the other staggering in an apparent daze on the deck next to the window. Soon his friend fluttered down to join him.

Nature, for all its awesome beauty, can be awfully cruel. Click To Tweet

I thought I missed my shot, but 30 minutes later they were again on the railing, where they stayed a few more hours.

The next day, as I rounded the corner of my house, one of them was sitting in the grass and I almost ran into him. He studied me carefully before casually flying to a nearby tree.

Sadly, the following Monday, there was a suspicious pile of feathers in about that same place. Today, the apparent survivor was alone, randomly walking on my driveway, as though not knowing what to do. Nature, for all its awesome beauty, can be painfully sad.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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So Long Summer

Summer is officially over (for those north of the equator), lasting from June 21 to September 22 this year. For me, summer effectively covers a slightly different span, starting on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day, regardless, we must move from summer to fall.

Each summer, I have a mental list of things that I want to accomplish, some fun, some relating to home improvement, and some regarding work. Each year, summer ends before the list is completed. Even so, this year I did better than most—regardless of when I mark the end of the season.

So long summer. Hello fall. Click To Tweet

The weather, of course, is another transition that occurs on the migration from summer to fall. We usually start fall with highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties, even forties. (Of course, we end fall with snow and below-freezing temperatures.)

So with summer over, I need to review my to-do list. Some items will be moved to my non-summer list, while others will be put on hold until next year, and the remaining items will be discarded on the junk heap of good ideas and mercifully forgotten.

So long summer. Hello, fall.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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What Happened to Spring?

Yesterday was the first day of spring—and the temperature hit a record-breaking 86 F. The average high for this time of year is 48. That’s an astounding in 38-degree difference. And today, the high temps pushed 90.

Interestingly, the average high temperature for us in three months, the first day of summer, is only 84 degrees. That implies that our seasonal temperatures are about three months ahead of schedule.

Now if this difference continues and the high for the first day of summer is also 38 degrees above the average, that would put it at a sweltering 122 degrees. While I don’t think that will actually happen, I do suspect we are in for a hot summer this year.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Could Spring be Right Around the Corner?

Technically, the first day of spring will not be for a couple more weeks (this year on March 20—unless you live south of the Equator, then you have a much longer wait).

However, the seasons seldom line up with the calendar.

For me, the best sign of spring is when I see a robin for the first time. That happened today.

Another typical sign of spring’s arrival is bulbs whose new growth begins to emerge from the ground. Unfortunately, for me, that indicator is flawed this year, as my tulips got confused with a warm fall and actually began showing their greenery last October.

Bravely these early arrivals, with their one-inch stalks, stood guard all winter long, despite repeatedly being covered with snow. Though they are no longer a vibrant green, they did nonetheless maintain their general color all winter long.

And now, with warmer temps, they seem to be growing again. It will be interesting to see if they have enough energy left to produce flowers later on, but nevertheless, they do assure me that spring is on its way.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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It’s That Time of Year

It was inevitable; it was going to happen eventually.

With periodic threats being advanced by meteorologists over the past five or six weeks, one such prediction finally proved to be true. Last night, with the odds at 60%, we received our first snowfall of the season.

It was but a dusting. However, as is the norm, more followed it throughout the day, with a couple of inches accumulating.

As is the case with the first snowfall of the year, there were reports of numerous accidents during the morning commute. It takes folks a while to adjust their driving habits to snowy conditions.

First, you need to allow more time to get anywhere; that is key. Slower speeds are critical, with more time needed to accelerate and much more time required to stop.

With the first snow of the year, I always warn anyone who will listen to drive carefully—and keep a wary eye out for those who aren’t.

My preference is that the first snow would arrive on Christmas Eve and the melt on January second, after which spring would begin. But so far that’s never happened. With snow in the forecast for the rest of the week, it looks like we will be getting more.

It may be inevitable—but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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In the Cool of the Morning

I got up early this morning, and in the pre-dawn began pulling in cool 60-degree air into our warm abode. In short order, the temperature dropped 7 degrees to an agreeable 70, where it stayed most of the morning. Attired only in T-shirt and shorts, I was quite comfortable.

What is perplexing is that six months ago, in the midst of winter’s fury, with the thermostat set at 72, I would layer on the clothes and still be cold.

This is a strange personal phenomenon that occurs with predicted regularity each year as we cycle from summer to winter and back again. 

I’ve never known why. One possibility is that since I like summer and dislike winter, it is a psychological response to my frame of mind—meaning that it is all in my head. I don’t care about that theory.

Alternately, claiming a physiological explanation is more palatable, but on what might I blame it?

The answer, I do not know. What I do know is that I like summer and am quite comfortable—and happy!

I wish the same for you.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Humidity Be Gone

During the warmer part of the year, I run a dehumidifier in my basement to remove dampness and maintain it as a comfortable environment.

Being that it is now that time of the year, I went to turn it on last week—and couldn’t find it! After scouring all the possible storage areas and double-checking that it wasn’t sitting in plain sight—twice—I remembered that I disposed of it last fall as it ceased to properly dehumidify. 

The plan was that I would have all winter to secure a replacement.  That was a good plan, but alas it had been forgotten.

The replacement unit was on sale for 170 dollars and is now happily purring away as it dutifully lowers the humidity in my subterranean level.

I hope this one lasts a while. The prior unit cost 150 dollars and lasted a mere two seasons, for an effective pro-rated annual cost of 75 dollars.  It was noisy, too, sounding like a jet engine taking off—well almost that loud.

Ironically, that unit was bought to replace an aging workhorse that despite dehumidifying well, had a squealing motor bearing of which I had been unsuccessful in quieting—despite repeated attempts. 

That unit cost 89 dollars and lasted 18 years, before its well-deserved retirement, for an effective annual prorated cost of fewer than 5 dollars.

Although I don’t expect to achieve that degree of longevity with my new unit, I certainly hope it makes it for more than two years. It seems that nothing lasts like it used to.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Spring is in the Air

Sort Of

Most of the people that I talk to here in SW Michigan are anxious for winter to be over and for spring to arrive.

While there is still snow on the ground, it is mostly relegated to shaded areas and snow banks, courtesy of the snowplows.

Yesterday, with the temperature topping out at an unseasonably warm 59 degrees F and sixth straight day of sunshine, some eager beavers apparently decided to rush things and were spotted wearing shorts.

Even though I, too, am anxious to put winter behind me and march into spring, wearing shorts when it is 59 degrees seems a bit optimistic.

Personally, I’d wait until it is at least 70.  Does that mean that I’d be rushing things as well?

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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