Warning: Falling Pianos


There’s an old joke about a man walking down a city street and getting hit by a piano falling from an overhead window. A distraught passerby rushes to the man’s aid.

The injured man asks, “Why didn’t you warn me about the piano?”

The passerby says, “I saw the piano falling, but didn’t want to alarm you.”

Aren’t we all a bit like this at times? Perhaps like me you have watched someone make an unwise choice, but decided to remain silent because you didn’t think it was your place to warn them. Quite frankly, our reluctance to shout a warning when we see pending disaster is the most unkind thing to do.

Now, imagine you had an important warning for your grandchildren. What would prevent you from giving it? Political correctness? Family opposition? Would you hesitate to alert your grandchild of pending harm because it felt out of place to do so, or would you shout a warning?

Moses led the Israelites to the Jordan River where Joshua would lead them into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 4, as he stood on a mountaintop overlooking the fertile valley that God had given them, Moses issued a warning. You see, that blessing came with a condition: “Tell your children and grandchildren about the glorious miracles (God) has done.”

That warning still stands. We have all been blessed by our Heavenly Father. And like the Israelites, we are commanded to tell our descendants about His blessings, lest they forget and fall deeply into sinful living.  It’s sort of like yelling at someone to get out out the way of a falling piano.  

Ask yourself, “When was the last time I told my grandchildren about God’s presence in my life?” Now is a good time to start.

The Fruit of Your Efforts

tomatoes-2016This is the third year in a row that I have planted a straw bale garden. Each year, I try an evolving variety of vegetables. But every year I plant my most favorite vegetable: tomatoes. Gardening results are never guaranteed, but always anticipated. This year, those fresh-picked fruits graced my table right up until November. Yum!

And it’s not over yet. I have a supply of fresh-frozen heirloom tomatoes. My family is enjoying the flavor of homemade tomato sauce that is certain to continue into the winter months. The nurturing has paid off.

Dedicating time to grow any crop is a lot like investing in grandchildren – except their outcome is far more valuable. We don’t know how they will regard our words and examples throughout life; we cannot guarantee the results.

Our command from God is to lead them to our Savior. But only the Holy Spirit can convict them to accept the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. We nurture our grandchildren to the glorify God, anticipating the eternally sweet taste of fellowship with them in His presence.

Quick and Easy Chunky Tomato Sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
5-½ cups chopped tomatoes (thawed fresh-frozen, or canned)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or, 1-½ Tablespoon dried basil)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or, 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Rub thawed, fresh-frozen tomatoes between fingers to remove skins; cut out cores and dice (or measure 5-½ cups canned, diced tomatoes). Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. For thicker sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour or until desired consistency is reached.

Serve over pasta, polenta, or toasted baguette slices. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.