Monthly Archives: February 2015

My Lenten Confection

cookie-monsterGrocery shopping has its charms. Aisles brimming with culinary treasures awaken my inner chef to the possibilities. Sample ladies entice me to devour tasty morsels of chicken Kiev or artisan cheese. The flower market calls me especially in Minnesota’s late winter hibernation to smell and touch the hyacinths and dream of spring.

But grocery shopping also has its temptations, especially if the shopper happens to be forswearing sugar for Lent.

choc chip cookiesOh, the sweet pain as the decadent aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafts thru the aisles and draws me toward the bakery counter where I, alas, commit the crime and purchase not one but two delightfully warm gooey gems and with nary a thought of contrition devour them whole on the spot.

Ah, what have I done?

My noble intentions and stout resolution get lost in a sea of remorse as I ponder the weight of my unwise and impulsive decision. I can hide the evidence on the outside but inside I sense an uneasy mix of guilt and failure. I can rationalize that it was only a small offense in the grand scheme of possible crimes, but I am still left with a glaring example of my own imperfection. I have sinned.

The Apostle Paul speaks to this reality in the book of Romans. He says, “My own behavior baffles me. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do but doing what I really loathe. … I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power. That is, I don’t accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don’t really want to do I find I am always doing….In my mind I am God’s willing servant, but in my own nature I am bound fast, as I say, to the law of sin and death. It is an agonizing situation, and who on earth can set me free from the clutches of my sinful nature? I thank God there is a way out through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There’s Hope. Glorious Hope.

The hymn writer Horatio G. Spafford said it best:

my-sins-nailed-to-the-crossMy sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!’

A shlight.showing-open-dooraft of Light emerges thru an open door into the pitch-black room of my guilty soul piercing the darkness, illuminating and transforming all inside by its own radiant Power.

A Way Out. Yes, indeed. Thank God.

My Lenten confection redeemed.


Phillips, J. B. “Romans 8:14-20.” The New Testament in Modern English. New York: Harper Collins, 1962. Print.

It Is Well With My Soul lyrics by Horatio G Spafford – 1873 –  found in

Images courtesy of:





His Winter Gift

Love is blind or at the very least somewhat bewildered.

Shortly after we became engaged Andre found himself totally lost in a dreamy reverie of love while stopped at a red light.

love is blindSo intense was his happy fog that he blissfully sat thru multiple transitions from red to yellow to green to red to yellow to green. Only after the irate motorist behind him stood on the horn did he sheepishly awake and scurry along.

After 37 years of marriage I’m quite sure Andre doesn’t sit thru red lights contemplating his bride’s flawless beauty. And I now see a few chinks in the shining armor of my gallant knight.

Ecstasy and Agony. We’ve had our hearts and flowers soaring the heights but also our tempest, weathering frightful storms and battles which have left us with a few scars and some deep wrinkles and more than a few grey hairs.

Nevertheless the bond holds and the glue that binds us is strong.

Vector-Background-LightBlueWherever we go, whatever we do

We’re gonna go through it together

We may not go far but sure as a star

Wherever we are it’s together

Our wedding rings symbolize a three-fold cord. The image comes from a phrase in Ecclesiastes 4 which says that a “triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

3-strandFiguratively our “three-fold cord” includes both of us as two strands intertwined with the third, the Lord God.

Audacious as it might seem, we’ve asked the Lord to join us and guide us in our life journey together. He gives us spiritual resources to cope with and surmount all sorts of trials and provides the glorious hope of a miracle when things look very dark and the tempest rages and the bond stretches toward the breaking point.

It is what I call His Winter Gift.

spring-birds-clipart-13758-love-birds-designIn the Spring of it all

What does one know of love?

Everything is vibrant—


The newness is enough.

snow-blizzard-pictures-wallpaper But what of Winter?

Will warm fires burn within

Shutting out the cold?


Only if our Springtime Creator


Will build a fire

Where there is no match to light one.

It is His Gift.

Especially on cold, winter days.

 ©1976 Barbara A. LaTondresse – All rights reserved.

“Together (Wherever We Go)” -music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, written for the musical play Gypsy in 1959 based on the book by Arthur Laurents–Gypsy: A Memoir. New York City: Harper, 1957. Print.

Images courtesy of: