Fall

As the calendar advances and summer begins to fade, there is a sudden energy in the air.  New beginnings bring excitement and a little uncertainty.  New schools, new teachers, new friends, new schedule.  Routine.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Time to finally unpack the vacation suitcases.  The air becomes more crisp, less soggy.  The leaves begin their seasonal dance of starting to change into their brightly colored foliage.  The mornings have become brisk warming to pleasant.  The world magically blooms in pumpkin.  

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A Thorn in the Flesh

The radical, persecuting tentmaker turned itinerant Jesus freak.   Heavenly revelations beyond the imagination.  Earthly troubles beyond bearing.  Shipwrecks.  Snake bites.  Beatings.  Imprisoned.  Lashed.  Stoned.  Robbed.  Weary.  Sleepless.  Hungry.  Thirsty.  Cold.  Naked.  Content.  Martyred.  To live is Christ.  To die is gain.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties.