Hawaii 2010

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Thank you Matt Redmon

I really enjoy stopping by this Pastor's website because he finds great quotes and videos. Can't make my embedding work but its title is Christ is Deeper Still

Matt Redman is a contemporary singer/song writer discussing the issue of the lovey dovey language in many newer praise songs. The point was that some of the language is so romantic it makes the blokes (His word) uncomfortable.

He mentioned two songs, one which we sing and I like, O Lord You're Beautiful and another song which ends with, "Jesus I am so in love with you." The in love set me off from the beginning. I am in love with my wife, and I have spiritual love for my saviour. Anyway, Matt regrets using those words, and I thank you for that Matt.

On another subject, the economic downturn has caused a phenomenon in my neighborhood in which finished stores have decided not to open and unfinished centers have stopped construction, including a Lifetime Fitness just north of us. Today I joined the city of Chandlers latest fitness center, which is quite well laid out and has a nice walking track. A 30 day test to see if I get more active before we hit the busy season around here. Exercise, I am so not in love with you!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Concept of Recompense

The following is from the New Revised Standard Anglicized version of the New Testament.

II Cor 5 (a totally fascinating revelation for me)
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

I like the word, for it had the wider connotation of not only justice for bad deeds but justice for the victim's of bad deeds, or bad breaks, or being born in really bad times, or in really bad circumstance or really bad families, or really bad countries, or abortion loving times.

I could go on but you get the point. I have always been sensitive to people I know who suffer from illness and have limited lives, from victims of accidents like Philip and Lucy Bliss, D.L Moody's song leader. They were in a train trestle collapse when he was 38 and left their children parent less. All the martyrs like Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, all the victims of war and violence and religious or political harm.

If there is an age for dealing with all this, for both weal and woe, as the old hymnals said, then we have a scenario that really does continue to make God just and the justifier of sinners, and really does make mercy to triumph over judgment, and stills the voice of the "Hell lovers" who insist like Anselm that an infinite sin demands an infinite punishment. Age enduring recompense. It is biblically defensable, and fits God's New Covenant character....not, I'm gonna get you, but..I am making all things right.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thought's on the Funeral of Ted Kennedy

The Kennedy men in politics defined my generation and my feelings about it. I became an adult when JFK was assasinated, leaving the issues of my back yard and neighborhood and being drawn through the news into a world of violence.

RFKs death convinced me that politics was high stakes and corrupt.

TMK's death reminded me that politics is corrupt and no family or individual should invest a whole life in a type of public service that can create a dynasty of political power.

But what do I know? Thankfully the Kingdoms of this world are inferior to the Kingdom of Christ.

Like every one else, he will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad. I do not think the letter he got back from the Holy Father will hold much influence there. Life matters as do our deeds.

I fully expect he will find mercy there, as will we all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Romance meets metaphysical questions


I really liked the look and feel of this movie. The big metaphysical questions are interesting. Can you step back or forward into time and occupy a space without changing anything except bringing back the winning numbers for lottery. The most intriguing part of the movie was his problem of nudity. I have had dreams about being in a public place without clothes. We are never told any purpose for this problem, but it really made time travel tragically difficult.

All this being said, I enjoyed wresting with cosmic inevitibility, love that lasts beyond death, and the very real proclamations in scripture that people who lived generations ago and able to show up in Jesus present with some understanding of where things are going and why. Lifes central ingredient is time, time to learn, time to work, time to play, time to love. The word eternity which we so glibly promise as the booty of belief, is a term about eons to come. Where or when are those people as I write?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Enya's Music is my coping mechanism

Enya is much more than Celtic influenced music. Her compositions contain her unique sound, which was characterized by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesized backdrops and ethereal reverberations. I own every album except her Christmas release from last year which I will get this season.

Six Languages, every instrument played by her, she obviously cannot show up on Leno and do a number, but she is the best selling female composer/performer of all time, and has been doing this for almost 30 years. She is often classified as New Age which she does not care for.

For a number of years I have suffered from tinnitus. It could be related to aspirin therapy or some sound damage from my youth, although I doubt that as I never collected albums or had a big stereo or went to loud concerts, (Stryper blew out my ears one evening) When I lay down to rest this irritating ringing which I mostly am able to ignore during the day causes me to just lay there. Thankfully, Enya and a whole host of mostly instrumental new age, jazz and therapeutic music lulls me into a deep sleep with the Ipod earphones painlessly embedded in my ear canals. Only occasionally does the sound escape to bother Laura. I usually wake up briefly and turn it off half asleep and am gone for the duration.,

Oddly, classical does not work...at all, pulls my attention up instead of shutting it down. I have heard there are musical therapies to help this condition. I may have to do something, but entering the world of Enya has been wonderful, and yes, I listen in the day as well. Check her work out some time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quadruple word meanings for Eon

I have been interested in the discussion of space/time/eternity for many years. McReynolds Interlinear New Testament has a Strong's Greek usage tied to an RSV translation and there are eight different words used to translate EON. I understand the whole contextual translation difficulty but there are major opportunity for theological bias in such cases. Like the phrase, "this age and the age to come" would be meaninglessness if it were,"this eternity or the eternity to come".

So if the issue between time and eternity is not time/eternity, but a successive unfolding of ages after we die,first obviously non corporeal, then corporeal, then there seem to be more things that can happen, each in its proper order, in establishing the plan of the eons.

On an unrelated note, during my shower I realized that the two lights over the tub and shower have not gone out in seven years. They have a mechanism that turns the light off if you forget. That must add longevity to the bulbs.

It has been too hot to take pictures. I begin to lose functional knowledge quickly when I am not taking pictures.

I had a bad gut feeling about this when I heard about a church merger, but the old and the young are fussing at Coral Ridge PCA. The new kid has departed from Dr. Kennedy's "magisterial" style, introduced too many contemporary songs, and uses gel in his hair....(kidding on that last on) duh! No other human being on the face of the planet had his magisterial style, the man walked in slow motion like a dancer. So, five big bucks or big power players are trying to fire Pastor T. The sad part is that it has already cost a gifted pastor who served well in the other group to resign over the flap.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Third Way for Me

I remember the exact day I became a convinced Calvinist. Second year of seminary something clicked and I saw the beauty of the system. God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, it all made sense. My warm evangelicalism became a consistent Calvinism.

I remember the conflict my Calvinism caused when I lived, worked, and taught among very consistent Arminians for seven years. Covenant Theology meets Dispensational believers at the height of the Left Behind, Y2K mania. What an adventure in missing the point we enjoyed during those rapture ready years.

I remember the day I realized that both Calvinism and Arminianism were systems of theology trying to understand how salvation works. I remember when my reading began to show me there were other ways of addressing the fundamental issues of God's plan, and I became a lonely but not uniformed seeker, determined to use the skills of my educational methodology, my healthy doubts and skepticism's spawned by twenty years of dealing with every type of theological question and confusion out there.

I love the joy of being not so sure. I thrill at the deep consistency of word studies and breakthroughs and questions that lead to other questions. I am grateful for some of my conclusions that seem to harmonize essential issues of God's character and how mercy and justice meet at the cross.

I fear that you will attack my progress or laugh at my breakthroughs. If you can live with what you believe, be blessed. If your life pushes you out of the comfort of your system, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open, at least enough for you to see another step down the path. Finally I love the fact that this Internet revolution allows people and ideas and experiences to be shared, and that it is part of a birthing, an emerging, a reforming, a recovering,an evolving of a new way of living and believing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thoughtless day, health maintenance

I love my Kia Minivan. Not trying to gloat, just very thankful I found a great car to drive and a great deal on said vehicle, a private enterprise deal. My dream of taking a complete two family vacation will be a reality after Christmas.

I had a Doctor's Appt.today. It brought the whole health care issue to an otherwise not very eventful day. Our group health plan suggested strongly we go to a health savings plan. We are paying more for perscriptions, less monthly premiums... I quess to provide a bigger benifit for serious issues. It has caused me to quit taking one medicine and to seek a less expensive alternate for another.

I battle a life long problem with high blood pressure, and a ten year involvement with type 2 Diabetes with two heart incidents. I accept these issues as part of my life, take the medicines, watch the numbers, eat well and exercise, and enjoy a really normal life. It means I am an expensive risk. Blood tests, stress tests, always the possibility of another heart attack. I would not enjoy being considered to old for such treatments. I know costs and services need to be reformed. I am trying to listen to both sides of this debate.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The offense of the Cross

Can we live without grace? Are we improvable without the Cross of Christ? I just taught through Galatians in a month and was once again impressed that the issue seems to be moral power without the cross. A bootstrap mentality. I did it my way type of thinking.

Does a self powered improvement show that kind of hope and grace that can help people who are not so strong willed or resilient. The self improvment industry is incredibly strong and has some real winners as poster children.

I continue to believe the weight of evidence is on the gospel side. If there could be a law that could perfect the soul, then Christ came needlessly. There is also hope for the very weak and very battered and very defeated to be lifted by the cross to healing and wholeness. And, God will and should be glorified for the gospel of grace.

I do not think He came needlessly. His power to lift the weak and humble the strong it a necessary two edged sword. The cross less self improvement churches have an ultimately cruel message when they borrow more from mind science than from Christ's spirit to transform. Just an opinion, not whistling dixie, though.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dining Well is a blessing of God

We truly enjoyed the movie Julia & Julia. Well acted, human interest, and life affirming. For me, Julia Child meant the Leave it to Beaver generation of my parents. She was black and white TV. I was so amused they showed the SNL Classic hand bleeding spoof. I found the development of both stories very complementary. We both wondered how the Childs could eat the way they did, smoked like fish, never exercised, and lived into their 90s. Viva La France.

We have some precious friends who enjoy dining out well, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of several courses, and eating slowly with good conversation and delectable entrees.

We already have enough cook books and so we are not joining the masses who are being reintroduced to French Cooking, and that's OK. See the movie and understand why Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are national treasures.

Friday, August 21, 2009

RCI is a Catch 22

The time share story continued to spiral downward toward the pit. After a health issue caused the cancellation of a Maui trip summer before last, I was trying to get a beach vacation, and although I was a year ahead of time they never found one room.

Its seems the problem was that I was actually trying to find a vacation during vacation season, and I was actually trying to go to a place that people actually enjoyed vacationing at.

It does not matter that I paid more in my first class Hawaii home resort for two rooms, with the promise that if I bought two I could trade for two. That has never happened in seven years of RCI involvement. What they have been good at is collecting my dues for these unhelpful searches and charging me a bogus thousand dollars to upgrade this property that will not actually trade for any thing that working folks might have the time and interest in trading for. Its a big Catch 22. He reminded me that I could trade my 2010 Hawaiian vacation to try again and I said, try again for what, the non existent trades you have so far given me????

Never say yes to a time share deal! Save up and look for bargains. OH, I have asked them to find me something in the seven resorts near Anaheim CA after Christmas....but sir, that is when other people go on vacation, why do you think we can trade your first class 2 room Hawaiian vacation for Disneyland???? Sheesh.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Have you ever felt "dissed"?

I consider myself to be fairly stable in my mental health. My greatest weakness is fear of rejection, bit of a people pleaser, goes with my personality and career. I have read a good bit on the subject and have made some progress in standing alone if need be.

That being said, some of the most emotionally painful experiences in my life have involved being "dissed", for one reason or another. Now by that I mean not one, but two words. Disfellowshiped, and being treated in a dismissive manner. I am willing to admit this is one reason why I am interested in changing the way we Christians in the evangelical world treat those outside our fellowship of faith. Dismissiveness can occur in any discussion of issues in politics, or world affairs.

The first massive experience of this took place in my Calvinist grad school. The high degree of theological debate and knowledge created an atmosphere where, if you said something that indicated you were not in a certain camp, (They were called TRs, the totally reformed, by those of us trying to survive being dissed), you began to be ignored in your conversation and mocked when opportunity arrived.

I found that when I ran into these folks years later, they absolutely refused to let me grow from the moment of being dissed and had me permanently planted in the "not of of us" camp.

In later years, I attempted with very little success to change the predominant dismissive attitude in some leaders who had asked me to bring growth to the church we served. It got ugly real fast.

I have mentioned it before because it was so deeply ironic, but I have had some people stand in the same room and have discussions and greet people and refuse to acknowledge I was in the room, all 6 ft. and 230++++ of me. Now that's the fine art of dissing carried to its meanest and proudest heights.

I think normal unchurched people feel this attitude from too many Christians. It seeps from our pores. They will know us by our love, genuine unfeigned non dismissive expressions of concern, compassion and kindness. No more us and them. Its more Pharisaical than Christlike in my opinion.

I fall into this mindset as we all do when we care deeply about things, but a spirit of reconciliation can break those habits which are hurtful. I hope so.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Implications of Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

I would like to know why no one ever preached a sermon I can recall on the doctrine of reconciliation when I was hearing hundreds of sermons growing up? Why was this passage never discussed in relation to how we do evangelism when I was in Seminary?
Why is the importance of this teaching neglected or overlooked by almost every theological construct except a few I have discovered recently? Am I reading too much into Paul's emphasis on how the finished work of Christ brings sinners into a real, not feigned relationship to God and to Christians, a reconciled relationship, before repenting?

True that the call to receive the finished truth and be saved is part of it, but I think this application of the cross really allows us to treat all human beings differently, with a degree on the respect for their humanity. An ambassador establishes a presence, stays in touch, works at bringing good will to those he or she is trying to influence. They do not offer help and just withdraw or condemn. All the foreign missionaries that inspired me told of the time it took to build trust and to care for their whole life, not just soul health.

This is a picture of Marion Lazan, one of her Jewish brothers, at the United Methodist Church. She survived a death camp when she was a little girl, and her story of hope and survival created a bond with all who shared that evening. I think something of that feeling is what Paul shared in this vision of reconciliation

Romans 11:14-16 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

I have been practicing this by loving everyone in Christ, not just because I hope they will take the bait. Christ did it, he loved sinners. Paul did it to his alienated countrymen, long term, with ultimate reconciliation as his sincere hope.

Any thoughts on this?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remembering a VBS Party

Had my summer Bible Study tonight and left both my laptops there so I am posting on Laura's computer. Harvested a pictue of a happy afternoon in Queen Creek after a successful Vacation Bible School. I am sure Laura loves me putting her backside for the whole world to see up on the web. Try to look around at all the happy kids and chaparones and realize that childlike joy and faith are the spark of God's love in our lives.

God loves His creation and is in the process of the restitution of creation through Jesus Christ, its really good news, and makes me want to dive in and get wet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Snowdye and Elsa

Elsa-Christmas 2005

When I became a pastor in Sun Lakes 7 years ago, I was making a commitment to care for aging people. Our modern culture currently neglects the elderly, unlike previous and I believe healthier times spiritually. Two of the most interesting characters I came to know are Snowdye, who passed away today, and Elsa, who died about 2 years ago.

Elsa had a Swedish heritage, had no children, and loved animals. She was very demonstrative to others in the church, which frankly bothered some. No mere hugger, Elsa approached from 10 ft away with arms outstretched and made a real theatrical experience of it. Snowdey was an appalachian girl from the hills of Kentucky, both loved animals, both skinny as rails, but there the differences ended. They supported each other and spent lots of time together and occasionally frustrated each other. Both never missed my Bible studies and church.

Here is where the difference ends. Elsa could sit at home and admire her things and be totally happy. Snowdey was always depressed, always wondering why her life was not working, always bored, always looking for something to give her life meaning. So many of our ladies prayed for her and worked with her and practiced unconditional love and patience. Sometimes she seemed to respond, but not for long, then came dementia, and today, thankfully, release from this long life. I believe with all my heart God welcomed these women from totally differenct backgrouds into His presence.

Today I spoke briefly but meaningfully with her daughter, had some very pointed questions, which I will not share, to help me understand this complex women. Elderly widows face long and too often lonely lives. Some people get more and more isolated as the years pass. I end my thoughts with just one enigmatic encouragement for us all. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow. Sow love, sow caring, sow kindness, sow into your family, sow into your friends, sow into your hobbies, sow into your church.

I thank God for every remembrance of these ladies.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Westin at Kierland Commons

So, I obviously believe Church buildings should be mulitfunctional and practical, but resorts are created for special relaxation and reward times in our lives. I really dislike the shame put on resorts for hosting private enterprise meetings in recent months. I notice our President has no problem picking the best for his own vaca. Not trying to pick a fight, but Scottsdale is such a beautiful resort destination and what they have done to create these enviroments is amazing.

I took my nifty 50 and walked around the resort will getting some more things done in the area. I have no idea what artistic influence created the goatalope shepherd guarding the swimming pool area????

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birthday BBQ in Downtown Gilbert

Just a couple of months til our 20th year Anniversary in the East Valley. Gilbert Downtown was a farm shipping center and most of the original buildings are still there. The City has added lovely attractions to sit and enjoy an evening at the Theatre or at one of many restaurants.

The Grand kids donned suits to play under the Water Tower. Delightful evening of celebration for Laura, who ate for free. In addition to Joe's BBQ he bought the old Carnecia and has an esspreso coffee bar, sandwich and pizza shop across the street. I ran into Taylor, one of the sweet girls from Grace San Tan Youth ministry doing the barrista duties. It feels like my home town.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ancient Future Church Building

IMonk has connected me to a story of a PCA Church that just completed a 20 million dollar building program for its 2000 member congregation. What makes it remarkable is that it is built in Gothic Sytle, cross shaped, with a 3 million dollar organ and a totally traditional look like churches built in cities at the turn of the century.

He is ruminating on the relative wisdom of the choice of building in our changing times. He was torn and had good arguements for and against. I lean against for several reasons.

Though it is a multigenerational church, everything they do from music, to choir, to suits, to pulpit robes echos a generation that is passing away. It is unlikely that there will be a return en mass to that style and form, which may limit the future.

A preaching and pulpit centered ministry can change with the passing of the leader. Even the great Coral Ridge building has not been that adaptable to the type of growth and activities of the generation that followed Dr. Kennedy.

20 million would build an equally functional and beautiful multipurpose worship center and large banquest area.

Finally, I really believe large churches are a blip on the radar of God's purposes.
Just my nickels worth.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flickr's of real life confrontation

Since my return to photography as a hobby I have come to enjoy the large photo collection blogs. I keep my own on Google, but I really enjoy Flickr. They make it very easy to share photos with family, and to share skills with other interested hobbyists, as well as learning from professionals.

From time to time I am impacted in a negative way. I was looking at an evangelistic confrontation at Ole Miss University. The evangelists were black, wearing suits and holding bibles as they preached. The looks on the students faces at they mocked the preaching was so dismissive and hateful. Others were just onlookers that would gather in any on campus event of interest. Some had brought signs to protest the preachers.

One sign said, God is love. This to counter the signs held by the supporters of the street preachers, which were very harshly worded threats about Hell and the Lake of Fire.

I wondered if any souls were saved that day in Mississippi by that rather ugly confrontation? I wonder if our Lord's confrontations with the Pharisees were meant to be our model for evangelism? I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was not the model of the Apostle Paul. I know from personal history that someone in those dorms would more effective in reaching those kids than the group that came on campus to rescue them from a burning hell using threats and waving bibles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Downed Tree, Heat Exhaustion

I love pulling off the road and checking out the photo ops. Saw this downed tree and attempted to compose something interesting. Pine tree country contains many casualties of drought, fire, bugs, old age. Slowly it continues to fall apart and is consumed by the forest.

Today Larry and I played golf in 109 and very muggy. Heat exhaustion is an odd phenomenon. The heat and humidity stop your bodies normal ways of cooling down, so your heart begins to beat faster, pulse rising, and oddly your blood pressure first raised and then drops dangerously, leaving you faint and on occasion susceptible to further health issues. Today my pulse reached 100, Larry's 130.....we quit after nine and went home. That's probably it for afternoon golf until September, we are nuts but not crazy. I carry a wrist BP cuff, a good thing for a heart attack survivor to carry, and....I stroked in a ten footer to take a one stroke victory into the weekend of the last major PGA tournament of the year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rescue Mission Ministry

Each month we pack sack lunches for the Hope Coach to distribute with lots of bottled water each day in the homeless areas of downtown Pheonix. We delivered 25 cases of water, and 118 lunches yesterday. The gentleman in the photo is the official gatekeeper. I love his ZZtop beard. I have been trying to get a closeup but he clearly does not enjoy being stared at and will not make eye contact with you.

The day to day running of the Center is accomplished by a handful of employees, couselors, and staff and cooks, and many residents who earn their keep during their training and discipleship time by keeping things moved and stocked. The giving comes for all over, and includes many athletes. The Karsten Ping Family has been deeply committed to the Pheonix Rescue Mission during thier successful club making career.

I wander what story my silent bearded friend would share if he could? I really love the peanut butter assembly time, our volunteers are so precious.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm an expert, darn it.

Since joining the conversation on a number of theology blogs I realize how thin the line is between helpful and hurtful debates about doctrine and theology. As a reader and student of scripture I have followed so many developments, fads, disasters in the church and among followers of Christ.

Biblical and theological knowledge is not like physics or medicine. Even though you may have spent hundreds of hours studying and thinking through the issues, every person who owns a Bible and has attended a sunday school class has an opinion about what it teaches and how it all fits.

I have seen the tribalism of belief systems because I have been a part of several of those tribes. I have lived with one set of supposed consistent doctrines and then been exposed to the other set and frankly realize how it is possible to take one set of assumptions, one of set of hermetical rules to end of with an emphasis that is rather diametrically opposed to another.

I do not know what to do about all this, but I really desire to freedom to change, grow, question, doubt, affirm and reaffirm a whole lot of doctrine and theology. I am being so personally strengthened by this process that no one can threaten me or warn me or set the parameters of growing in the love of God and the knowledge of who God is and what the Good news is.

I am an expert after all.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Watching Tiger

Some of my golfing friends are always rooting for the underdog against Tiger. I am enjoying the whole thing. What an athlete can do in a difficult and very precise sport, which contained many variables and as many bad bounces as good ones.

Tiger's 70th win more than ten years before the three other great golfers indicates that barring injury or premature death, he will rewrite the record books permanently.
Unless some youngster with gifts, talents, drive, opportunity decided he or she can beat it, and pays the price. Meanwhile, he inspires my admiration and gives golf a huge boost.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thanks Kia for a C for K P. E. V

Kia is offering deals to those who did not qualify for the gov'ment money. I call it Cash for Klunkers Private Enterprise Version, and I much prefer it, so thanks to the folks who gave me a car to drive and for an end to the nightmare of losing my car to an accident. I now barely own a Sun Lakes Cadillac, a Grandpa takes the kids to Disneyland Kia Sedona, seven passenger's and lets go vehicle. I am grateful for being able to drive a newer, safer, roomier car.

In 35 years of marriage this is the 2nd car I have purchased new. My third Minivan, first foreign made car, and I have nothing at all against South Korea, these are well made cars. We tried one one our Beach trip and it was great. It feels kind of good helping the economy again. I hope and pray me and this vehicle make it safely to my retirement age of 66, and that I am having so much fun and being used of the Lord enough to keep on serving.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Meet me in the shaded area, you can't miss it.

Went car shopping today in South Scottsdale and saw this shade tent outside the ASU Branch. Now that is an impressive shady zone. A work of art I'd say.

A local dealer offered clunker deals for clunker rejects, which my vehicle is. I looked up the trade in value for my car and it was $375 bucks. They are willing to offer a lot more to move a new vehicle. I pitched the deal to my executive wife and she is pondering it, and now we sleep on it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Family Memorial

Jenny passed away Sunday Evening. Joe and some close family and friends gathered to have a family service and to plan for a memorial when friends return from summers travel. This is the pattern we see in Senior Living this time of year.

She was a strong and giving woman, with a life full of joy and influence for good. I enjoyed the drive, the cooler day, the good fellowship, and our Arizona Rim country.
The Heber area is still recovering from a disastrous fire ten years ago.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August in Arizona, a Missionary visit

I have been asked to drive up the mountian to Heber/Overgaard tomorrow, and frankly just a few hours out of the heat will be delightful. I played golf today at 9 am and the high for the day was 109. If I am standing on a green the sun and the radiant steam from the watered greens makes me dizzy.

We just got home from our evening walk and it's still 106. At some point it just becomes oppressive, and your air conditioner is a lifeline to sanity.

We support an International Church and School and Children's Home in Chiang Mai,Thailand. Kashura and her almost adopted daughter Emma came by to visit yesterday.

Ken Ham or Hugh Ross

In the 30 years over which my generation has led the spiritual health of the church these two men have more or less represented the two poles of thought in answering the claims of Darwinian Theory. Hugh ably defending the age/day theory and Ken the Young Earth Theory. When I was with the home and christian school folks we listened to Ken debunk the claims of evolution. At the office yesterday as I was preparing to teach I received his latest book warning of the loss of our youth from church, and urging us to return to true bible preaching.

Dinosaurs on the ark seem a bit odd to most of us, but at the heart of the issue and the logical reason Ken must bunch all this into the last 8 thousand years is the issue of biological death. If there was death and meat eaters wandering around the planet before God was ready to put Adam and Eve in the garden, then the theology of death as the curse for sin gets all out of wack. This will be my subject for week 2 of our study. Was good old T rex a vegatarian? Did Jesus ride him? Sheesh?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Seeing Nature

Tomorrow evening a small group will gather to think about the relationship of the Triune God, the earth, the universe, and our faith. Alistair McGrath says, "the Christian mind does not passively receive impressions of nature, but actively interprets it. The process of observation, whether scientific or religious, involves trying to match what is observed with what is believed, and making any necessary adjustments.

I am hoping to discuss a healthy view of this life, a legitimate enjoyment of our physical existence, and issues related to the creation/evolution debate, to the age of the earth debate between evangelicals and its relation to how we read scripture and how this debate is affecting our witness. Interesting that this discussion goes all the way back to St. Augustine.

Bottom line, what we discover about creation and the universe is what God already knows, and if we discover we were wrong about a certain fact, as the church was wrong about the solar system hundreds of years ago, we will in fact harm our witness. Yet at the same time, because we have faith and revelation, every scientist in the world who might tell us that no one rises from the dead, will not move us from affirming what we believe to be essential to our understanding of God, and of the ages to come. I hope I can bring my heart and my studies together is a way that gives understanding and brings truth to those who choose to spend an hour searching these things.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Makes me love everybody, makes me love everybody

Part of the chorus to "Gimme that ole time religion". When I know I have represented the Good and Beautiful God who has spoken in Christ I feel a deep sense of peace and joy and yes, love toward people.

During my evening walk over by the office I saw a Father and Son fishing at Lake #7.
This cute boy in a wheelchair is apparently the PinBall Wizard of fishing. He catches them when no one else can.

It was one of those magical sunsets as well, and the God who created this world and the God who is redeeming and restoring humanity waw dwelling in my heart....Makes me love everybody. I am no Pollyanna, I know how full of darkness the hearts of men can be and how desparate the condition of many places in the world, but for an hour I walked with Him and I talked with Him, fellowship with God.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

This car is not a clunker!

You are what you drive....if that's true I am old and worn out. This has been my car for the last two years. I was hoping it might qualify for the gov'ment cash. It is a 1992 Acura Vigor with 236,000 miles on it. I am actually very happy to have this car. It belonged to a salesman in CA who was finally told by his boss to drive something newer, he gave it to his folks who gave it to the church. I have been given several cars in my ministry. A buick, a Subaru, A great Toyota Cressida which I unfortunatey burned out the engine on, and this Acura. Runs like a clock, though the brake Warning lights have been shining for two weeks

Its does not qualify because when it was new the epa said it got 20 miles a gal and thats two to many. Its hard to resist free money. I began to think about a newer minivan to carry the kids around. I have owned a Dodge Caravan which we wore out on a paper route and a Ford Van which fell apart. My families only new car in their life was a Ford Falcon, which became my college car, replaced by the car of my dreams, a yellow Ford Gran Torino which escorted by bride around when we were dating. Our baby years car was an awesome Chevy Impala which I wore out on a salesman route. We became Dodge people when the town we lived in only had one dealership and he gave deals to our family.

We owned a bunch of Saturns because I liked the philosophy of the company, safe, no haggling, its the best price we can offer, and we will take care of you. Which they did. I am kind of glad that Ford has weathered the storm and is making great cars. Now the new Ford Flex, that is really who this Grandad is, if I only had 40 grand laying around, and the $4,500 would have been a start.