Things I Think…

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31 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    No one could ever say you aren’t a gifted writer, Michael.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Josh…I wish I were better…

  3. Duane Arnold says:


    Stay safe from the fires… of both sorts.

  4. Josh says:

    No, the way you draw parallels between real life and spiritual matters is truly amazing.

  5. Michael says:

    Josh, thanks again…I hope it’s helpful.

  6. Michael says:


    I’m just staying ready…which is exhausting…

  7. LInn says:


    Well-said, but I wish you didn’t need to say it. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the next catastrophe for so long now that I’ve forgotten how to exhale. It’s why I watch my news intake…one look at the headlines in the morning and a revisit in the afternoon (I still take a newspaper) is enough.

  8. Michael says:


    We are holding our breath…waiting to exhale.

    Looking for safe places and not finding any…

  9. Muff Potter says:

    In all honesty, I suspect that the far-right nut-bag fringe element, whether ‘Christian’ or no, is a small minority, and not at all representative of the vast majority of the American People.
    What’s sad though, and scary too, is when will the next gun-tragedy happen?

  10. filistine says:

    Like you, I live in your community holding our collective breath–both due to the smoke and to the fearful anticipation of a foolish act or existing fires bursting into full conflagrations. It is exhausting. I’m a very distracted teacher right now–trying to act normal, regularly checking various media to see if normal is warranted. That is just due to the concrete topic of which you write; the abstract one is every bit as real.

  11. Michael says:


    I keep refreshing all the alert sites…rain cannot come soon enough…

  12. Officerhoppy says:

    I don’t know why but I feel the need to say that I am a Christian (though struggling at times) but I am not a Trump Christian. I would probably be labeled conservative in my values but am a registered independent. I am open to dialogue and the ideas of those whose ideology is different than mine.

    There! I said it!

  13. Linn says:

    Officer Hoppy,
    I almost lost a friendship when I told my longest-living friend that I was not a Trump Christian. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve actually abandoned the Republican party and changed my registration over the summer. I think there are other Christians like us, too, but we either have to be willing to take the heat from the other side, or forever remain closeted with our “heretical” beliefs. I think my closet door is ajar.

  14. bob1 says:

    I say God bless all those like Officer Hoppy who are open to
    dialogue and those with different ideas. May that tribe continue
    to increase!

  15. Em says:

    #1- we also are under a red flag warning, but we watch pickup after pickup hauling off road bikes and carts going up into the hills
    Say what? Don’t they care? Guess not

  16. Dread says:

    Nations collapse from war, from corruption, from disunity, from financial failure, from invasion, from all the maladies of the human heart. This one has already embraced all those things. Pray for the kingdom and prepare because when we pray that way nations fall. Babylon has fallen.

    Our real question is how shall we conduct ourselves as this one falls. There will be pockets of life because as nations fall new ones are born from the rubble.

    We might want to ask how we shall live. This one is definitely not ascending just now. It may revive but only to fall again. For here we have NO lasting city.

    So far ALL of our expressions of the kingdom have proven corruptible and fallen and yet of his increase and government there shall be no end. If only we could discern it.

  17. I am trying with all my might to continue to be a firefighter and I am continuing to fight some very big fires alone. I see the red flag warning but I do not have the crew I used to. The Lord took my Fire Chief home and I feel so grief stricken so much of the time and so alone. I love this post, it reverberates in my soul, I feel the Spirit all over it. I know this word is dead on accurate. Continue to use your gifts my friend!

  18. Captain Kevin says:

    Mary Ellen,
    It’s so good to see you here. Praying that our Lord meets you in your grief.

  19. Captain Kevin says:

    Officer Hoppy and Linn,
    I’m right there with ya.

  20. Dread says:

    Hello Mary Ellen

    Good to see you in this space. Your Fire Chief is sore missed.

    Blessing to you.

  21. Mary Ellen Stipe says:

    Thanks to Captain Kevin and Dread, the Chief loved the days when he had the time to be on this site and converse with all of you. You guys knew the real him. Don’t quite know why he’s home but the Lord does. Thanks in advance for your prayers, I need them.

  22. Michael says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Mary Ellen.

    We all miss your Chief…too much left undone.

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    Yeah. I’ve had a similar experience. I have some friends who think I have lost my salvation because I am not a Trump Christian. They are completely obsessed with him and the “stolen” election.

    No amount of reason or truth will convince them otherwise

  24. Linn says:

    Officer Hoppy,

    My friend and I talk every now and then, but not like we used to. She is truly disappointed in me and thinks I have gone over to the dark side.

    What has been a pleasant island of sanity is that the leadership of my church asked us to stop discussing politics (the particulars) specifically at church. We talk about principals, but not personalities. It has made a huge difference in the atmosphere and allowed ministry to continue without disruption. We are not known for any particular “brand” of politics, although being a Bible-preaching evangelical church it’s easy to come to the conclusion most people are conservative. But, there are a lot of hybrids like me and I appreciate the peace and quiet. Lots of conversations take place away from church, but they don’t drive the engine of the congregation. And, like you, I am always up for a good conversation!

  25. pstrmike says:

    Thanks for your encouragement, Mary Ellen. I think more than a few of us are walking through the fires these days.

    The Chief was such an encouragement to many here. He was to me. It took courage for him to participate, and I’m sure he got pushback from the boy’s club……..

  26. Reuben says:

    Outstanding writing

  27. Michael says:


    Thanks, my friend…

  28. Matt Friedman says:

    Mike, that was as fine a modern parable as I’ve seen anywhere, and quite timely, too. Thank you.

  29. Michael says:

    Matt Friedman,

    Thank you for the kind words…I’m glad people are finding it helpful…

  30. Linn says:

    I really good article about Christian nationalism and how it was displayed on Jan 6, 2021. The scariest sentences in the article:

    But “extremism” can also be understood as a more intense or committed version of what is otherwise ordinary. As scholars of the cultural politics of religion, we suggest this ordinariness is actually more alarming than its extreme expressions, because it’s harder to notice.

    It’s about a 5-minute read, and well-worth the time.

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