Author: Dale Heinold

The Oak Leaf: A Story of Memories

The Oak Leaf: A Story of Memories

Short Stories
“One more shelf Emily and we’ll be done” Dad encourages.  While not grueling work cleaning out Mom’s closet is emotionally draining. It took Dad a few years to be ready for it, I know that I’m not. We are both a little wary of this last shelf, its where she stored her keepsakes.  The home of her most treasured memories. We carefully remove each box and explore its contents.  Several are filled with greeting cards, both store-bought and handmade. Some of them make us laugh, a few make us cry. Another box contains trinkets from various destinations around the country. A thimble from the Grand Canyon.  A silver spoon from Wall Drug Store.  A Minnie Mouse hat - somewhere there’s a picture of Mom and me sporting our hats. The last shoe box I pull from the shelf is so light I thought it may be
The Maze: A Story of Choices

The Maze: A Story of Choices

Short Stories
“Stay on the path and follow the signs,” the attendant said as he opened the gate to the corn maze. My girlfriend Emma looked at me and smiled, this had been her idea. Together we stepped across the threshold and onto a path lined with golden brown corn. I had this inkling that I had just become a rat caught in a maze. The first part of the maze was easy and wide.  Holding hands we maneuvered the corners and easily made the right choices. While no one else was in sight we could occasionally hear the laughter of others over the dry rustle of the corn. “Are you having fun?” Emma asked.  I nodded.  It would be fun if it were pouring rain and the path was ankle deep mud if I was with Emma. But I didn’t say that outloud, it would be too, pardon the pun, corny. We continued to walk along, some
No One Left: A Story on Humility

No One Left: A Story on Humility

Short Stories
The most startling thing about that first day was the silence.  No traffic, no motors, no phones, no music, no birds, not even the rustle of leaves.  Simply silence.  Well almost silence, my tinnitus was still there so at least I knew I was not deaf. Another startling thing was that I was alone. I don’t mean alone as being the only only one in a room or alone as being virtually invisible in a crowd.  I mean alone.  No other living soul anywhere.  Being somewhat of a loner anyway this was not a huge bother.  There was absolutely no separation anxiety between me and the rest of humanity.  They didn’t need me, I didn’t need them.  Well, that is what I thought anyway.   My first realization that I did need them came quickly after I flipped the light switch. Nothing happened.  I quickly made t

The Dark Corner: A Parable of Pride

Short Stories
I rarely recall my dreams. The few times I have they were so strange that I derived no satisfaction in the visions.  But last night I had a dream and I remember it.  The scene was our family room.  All the usual pieces were there and in the right place, the sofa, bookcase, television, my recliner.  In addition the room was filled with trophies of various shapes, sizes, and colors.  In my dream I settled into the recliner.  As I did so I noticed a box sitting in the middle of the room.  It was just like those cardboard boxes used to store files except it was black as midnight.  I took off the lid to examine its contents.  The box was crammed full of paper.  Pulling a sheet out of the middle I read an account of when lied to my mother about going to a party.  Another retold an angry episode
You’ve Got Mail: An Invitation

You’ve Got Mail: An Invitation

Archive, Encouragment
““Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB95) A few months back my wife and I received an invitation in the mail.  It was an invite to our granddaughter's birthday party. Like all invitations it provided the specifics concerning the time, place, what to bring, and a general idea of what was going to happen.  This verse is God’s invitation to us, it also contains specifics regarding time, place, what to bring, and what will happen. Time and place: God’s place and now.  The Lord’s invitation is to “come now”. He invites us into His presence.  This is not a legal summons that forces us to appear.  It is an invitation that places the choi
The Art of Can Kicking

The Art of Can Kicking

Archive, Encouragment
   “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14, NASB95)   Kicking the can down the road seems to be a great american pastime.  We excel at putting off until tomorrow what should be done today. Just look at our national and personal debt. However the desire to kick the can may not simply be an american thing, but a human thing. Even those that excel at time management and getting things done are kicking a can somewhere in their lives. To be fair we cannot do everything that calls for our attention in one day.  We do need to kick some cans down the road in order to prioritize the needs and responsibilities of life. The question then becomes one of searching and understanding our priorit
David Slept…

David Slept…

Archive
“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.” (Psalm 3:5–6, NASB95) Ever have one of those nights when something said earlier in the day made sleep impossible? Perhaps it was spoken, or written in an email or on facebook, or perhaps something on the TV. Regardless of the source it can be easy to allow the voices of others drown out the peace of the Lord. Psalm three is attributed to David and inspired by the time one of his sons successfully attacked his kingdom. We all have experienced troubling times but few could match the turmoil brought by Absalom. The history behind Psalm three is recorded in 2 Samuel 15 and following. David was not oblivious to the danger or denying the
In the Wilderness: A New Wisdom

In the Wilderness: A New Wisdom

Archive
// _// “When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late;” (Mark 6:35, NASB95) In our vernacular we would say that Jesus, the disciples, and the crowd were “in the middle of nowhere”. Not only where they in the middle of nowhere but the point of no return was approaching to where the crowds would have to walk home in the dangerous dark. To the disciples the practical thing, the wise choice, was to release the crowds to their own devices. Allow them to see to their own supper and safety. If we simply take the situation, ignoring what follows for the moment, we would readily agree that the prudent move was to send the crowd on their way. There is nothing wrong with the disciples observation or suggestion - except