Hawaii 2010

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Proud to be an American

This is the Punch Bowl National WWII Memorial and Burial Grounds. One of the most sacred and beautiful spots on Oahu. I still remember the feelings I had when I saw the gravesites of one of the brave men who perished in the first Challenger explosion, and of course the feeling of amazement when you see the intensity and complexity of the war in the Pacific that is preserved on the walls of the memorial.

I hope your day was filling with grateful and thankful hearts for our freedoms, and fresh, always fresh prayers for the preservation of them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Congratulations Melody

Lovely Melody is a High School graduate, a record setting high jumper, and an all around nice girl. Each year as another group of graduates hits the pavement I reflect on my own and how quickly time flies as we pursue our duties and diversions. As those around you remind you of your acccomplishment, do not forget to find new dreams and goals to take on another step along your path to a wonderful life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Triune God

This is a view of the Resort in Princeville, Kauai from the air. Looking forward in a few weeks to passing by there on the way to Ke'e Beach.

Christian Theology is trinitarian theology. The New Covenant reveals God in relation with Himself, Father, Son, Spirit. Trying to intellectually understand this dynamic eternal relationship is not possible with the what we currently possess. We see the description and we grasp the unity and diversity of the Godhead, but only dimly. We pray the trinitarian formula, to the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.

Christian Theology is incarnational theology. The entrance of God the Son in the flesh is extremely key to understanding the gospel. Not the gospel that basically has us going to two destinies based on our living response to Christ's coming, but the deep truths revealed in Ephesians 1 about our pre destiny. About God's intention to gather up everything to Himself, things in heaven and on earth and under the earth, to become all in all. That is my goal in this post script series on the image of God in man.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Patriotic Evening

This kokopelli is part of Comeda Gaudalahara, a downtown Mexican restaurant we enjoyed earlier this week.

What a wonderful experience to gather with several thousand to hear the fabulous Pheonix Symphony play some awesome memorial day patriotic music, from the standards to music from South Pacific, Saving Private Ryan, Rodeo, Sousa, etc. I am always happy to be with my bride of 35 when our first and our latest dates were to a symphony performance.

There was a ComicCon going on at the Arena and the streets were filled with characters from movies and comics. I love being downtown when lots of things are happening.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luke AFB after all these years

Today I visited Luke Air Force Base with one of my men. We were shopping the PX for camera equipment. Active bases are very impressive. This base trains jet pilots who are nearing readiness and the sound of F16s is almost deafening. There is evidence that many retired military folks save money on groceries, gifts and toys, and pharmacy.

The base has been encroached by the western expansion of the city, but still seemed to have great flying space. What struck my camera was the huge fields of flowers that are growing around the base.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Serving the poor

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is a special place, but not like you would think. It is special because it is so mundane. They have chapel before they eat, and anyone who comes to chapel is given a meal. The have helpers, and cooks, and routines, and they offer shower schedules and over night beds and always have counselors available to answer questions.

When I am shopping for supplies to make our lunches people are always curious as to why I am buying 20 loaves of bread. They are touched and want to find out more about how to get involved. This is the wonder of the rescue mission, how many churches and individuals are helping. Golffer Tom Lehman and his wife helped raised the 12 million to build a home for homeless mothers and children. The Karsten Ping Family has been very committed to the program for decades, and do what we can to relieve the suffering of homelessness, and to rescue many back to productive lives.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Joyful Birthday Party

Marty just moved here but has many friends because of her success as a business woman. I felt very priviledged to join some of them for a lovely relaxed Birthday party. We feasted, we heard a special song, we laughed.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It has been a great adventure

I am a Lost fan. It's over. There was a reunion in a church. It was about life after death, it was about remembering those whose lives were intertwined in the struggles on the island. I always remind people that heaven has no meaning without the struggles, the forgiveness, the mistakes, the joys and sorrows of life in this evil eon. Anyone who innocently asks, Will we know each other in heaven? has, in my opionion deeply misunderstood the relationship between this life and the next.

Lost was written by men interested in spirituality and religions. I would not expect them to make the same conclustions as one with a Christian worldview, but in a pleasing way, they have joined storytellers like C.S.Lewis, Tolkien, and a host of others whose metaphors of struggles with our humanity and our moral choices give us all a chance to reflect on ultimate spiritual and eternal truths.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Earthen Vessels

I led a memorial today for a lady I have never met. I loved her family, both first and second marriage. She was highly energetic, a fun lover, as testified by putting her ashes in Jim Beam Collectable Bottles. She wants her ashes buried with spouse from first and second long and happy marriages.

I just never do funerals for sinless saints. Never met one. The only one I know of asked His father to forgive them while spiked and bledding on a cross, and then carried our sorry sins with Him, and rose without them, and reconciled us to Himself while we were yet sinners. Flawed by Design. That the honor and glory would go to Him and not to us.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Better Glass, better pictures????

I have taken over 6000 pictures since I got the Canon Xsi in November of 08. I love revisting our vacations and my everyday silly shooting. I have taken many remarkable pictures in terms of quality of image with the kit lens that came with my camera. You soon learn that there are basically three gradations of lens glass in the Canon family. The L glass is for professional or enthusiasts use not generally on a budget and a good lens can go for 1000 to 8000 dollars.

Today I purchased the 15-85 mid range zoom with Ultrasonic focus and image stabalization that has been reviewed to have great versatility as an every day travel lens with great image quality. The lens retails for more than the camera, but of course with Amazon you get a big discount plus there was a 100 dollar rebate going on during National Photography Month. Its heavy, over 20 oz. and solid feeling. I am excited. You will be seeing a lot of my shots with this lens from now on. You can be the judge. Of course many will be taken with my lovely Canon Powershot A590 and now the Android. All very fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world

I am one of those who believe the fall of mankind into sin was not a surprise which caused God to enter into Plan B to try to save some of us. If the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world, then a God who loves us sacrificially is written into the plan, as is the salvation that enables us to know the character of God in this life. The tribulation of living in this flawed creation is part of the knowledge of sin, which will enable us to know what it will be like when we enter a new creation. Deep thoughts, but well defended in the texts. I am studying 2 Tim 1 for this weekends message on restoring the image of God.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank God for good, caring, teachers

Many of the older generation find great satisfaction in wood working. This Grandfather Clock reminds me of the gift of time and the fact that many people are living to be a grand old age these days.

For our out of state readers, we are very pleased that Arizona voted to fund education and state services with a three year one cent tax. It will be automatically stopped and hopefully we will have most of this crisis past us.

I visited a lovely retired school teacher friend yesterday. She moved from our community to be closer to a caregiver. At 94 she is still active, walking to the dining hall, talking to friends on the phone, reading the paper, but she has been moved from independent to assisted living because of recent health challenges.

As we were talking, I asked her how she spends an average day and was delighted when she said that many days some random thing she sees or reads will trigger a series of memories of the joys of her life. Family things, school things. She told a story of a really fine student bringing a really bad student to ask her forgiveness, when both of them were adults. Very touching.

Her joyful spirit about most things reminded me of the old adage I try to remember each day. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pheonix is a huge city

I drove from Sun Lakes to Sun City to make a visit. Long drive both ways. The area around the Cardinals new stadium is really booming. Hope we can find a quarterback to keep our turn around going.

Its movie nite and we are going to enjoy The Blind Side. I am also going to go through major sadness along with many others when Lost ends on Sunday. I have loved the mixture of good characters, real drama, and metaphysical parallels that abound in the long story.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Children are worth a penny?!

Laura's first graders helped build an earth worm habitat today.They were very excited to see that glob of wigglers. Laura is wondering if they will leave the fuzzy cotton stuff and burrow down into the potting soil for water and darkness as they are supposed to????? They are eating cornmeal and lettuce, yum!!

I love Tumbleweed Workout Center. Today I was tired from a bad nights sleep, but once we got going I did 40 minutes of aerobics and 30 of weights and felt grand. Just getting up and going is more than half the battle for healthy activity.

Tommorrow the State of Arizona is being asked to add a penny to the sales tax for three years to help our infra structure through this money crisis. As the husband of a public school teacher coming from a family of public school teachers I support the need and hope that our anti government bias does not sink this one. If it fails our already cut to the bone education budget will face further difficult tasks and my wifes job will be more difficult than it already is.

I joked about the field at our Rec center being plowed, and found out that the budget crisis for sports and rec is so tight that they have leased that ten acres back to the farmer who owned the land so he can raise and crop and Chandler can keep this wonderful facility in operation. You would not belief how many awesome programs for the families of Chandler go on at this place. It is awesome.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life returns to normal

A month till we get into an Hawaiian state of mind. We listened to Aloha music while doing our chores yesterday. We love "IZ"

Having both sons for a few days changed our routine, and we enjoyed seeing them both and having some fine dinners with all three.

Taught through Jonah today. It seems that Israel's enemies were listening to the preaching of Jonah more seriously than the Isrealites, and Jonah resented God forgiving the repentant city. I was stunned by the last sentence in the book. There are 120 thousand people who do not know their left hand from their right, shall I not be concerned for that great city.

The expansive missional heart of God was there all through the Old Covenant dropping hints.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Googling for Worms

When you need to find something, go to the web. It took a number of tries but I was able to find live worms for Laura's first grade study of worms. They are going to watched them in a jar. I was afraid I was going to have to drive to one of our lakes outside of town, but this business in Apache Junction not only had worms but when I told him they were for a school project, he would not take any money.

Lets hope the worms live and thrive once they leave the bait cups kept in the refrigerator. I will have saved them from ending their lives at the end of a hook.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A beautiful drive to work

I drove the golf cart through Oakwood today with my 50mm and took this shot. Biked home after putting air in my bike tires, then to the gym for more aerobics and some leg lifting.

I am preaching on Jonah's reasons for refusing to preach to the people of Ninevah. It reveals the consistent heart of God in seeking the people of the city.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A loud thorn in my flesh

This is a macro shot of the bark of the tree in my front yard. Looks chaotic but its part of God's creativity.

My tinnitus is getting worse. I can no longer remember the sound of silence, and now it is competing with TV watching, conversations, and my own thinking process. Time to try some new things. First thing is to go cold turkey on my long aspirin therapy. Two 80 mgs a day for probably 10 years could be acerbating the issue. I will let you know. I am not going to buy Quietus, its a hundred a bottle and more hype than facts, but if anybody knows anybody thats tried anything that might work, let me know. I am researching the issue more deeply.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Family Time

Great day! Brian from NYC is here to visit and attend ASU graduation to see the last of his drama class graduate. He brought homework and reflects the busyness of the crazy place he has chosen to live his live.

Matt fromDenver for some downtime from his job and for a bit of warm weather. I got to play with an Ipad from JT’s job as IT manager at Mesa Community College….he showed me the nifty keyboard that turns it into a work station.

Realizing how different my kids are from each other and allowing them to be the adults they have become is a good thing for us. Growing up as preacher’s kids had its own set of challenges that has helped and hindered each in finding their own place and beliefs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The School Program Revisited

Between plays, chorus, band, and award ceremonies we spent many years attending our own children's special events at school. Today Brian flew in from NYC and we raced across town to watch Shannon sing a solo in the school chorus closing program. Its a neat thing to be starting this again as a grandparent.

Monday, May 10, 2010

You know it when you feel it!

What? What is your subject tonight? Hard water. If you have never lived in a place with hard water it is hard to explain. And, if you get a water softener after 20 plus years of bathing and washing in hard water the difference is hard to explain, until you feel the softness of the water on your skin.

Every surfactant, cleansing agent works better, the hard water stains begin to dissapear from every thing. We are lovin it. We have no idea how it works, what that shiny tank and salty bucket do or how, but it really works.

Another thing I felt today was the joy and unity of the 15 people who gather to feed the homeless twice a month. We laugh and work and chatter and listen to awesome music from Robin Mark or some other singer, all while slapping PB&J and filling bags of pretzels and cookies.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another lovely Sabbath

Laura and I now share another part of our life together. She is really getting into weight lifting and aerobics. She even when without me today to work off some serious overeating during Cinco De Mayo.

We had friends over to watch the Suns sweep the series with San Antonio...great game.
Had a visit from our daughter who brought flowers and a card, and a plan to remodel our kitchen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My reproaches fell on Him

We had a nice little couple ask to come to our Bible study the other morning,

tapping persistently at the sliding door!

Ten years ago I lived through a millennial madness, which, when combined with Y2K rumors, the 9/11 terrorism, the Left Behind Series, produced a visably toxic faith reaction in a number of people in my church. They were rapture ready and seeing visions of tanks surging over the San Tan Mountains, as if Queen Creek, AZ was the world’s prize occupation target.

Everyone lived through it but me, I lost my position in the hubbub of disagreements over the theology of the Left Behind mentality. No matter, for all things work together for good. It did however, make me start my own little quest to end the toxicity of much of popular belief in the Christian community of America.

The quest was simple, I study, read, think and search afresh after the answer to two of the most basic questions bible believing Christians could ask. Who is God? What is the Gospel? Tomorrow I will share a bit about one of my joyful discoveries. Put most provocatively, God took responsibility for the fall of mankind, not holding him guiltless, but realizing that if the damage was to be repaired, the Father of mankind would be doing it.

Sometimes the way I hear the gospel explained sounds like this…..I am really full of hatred and revenge for sinners, but I am still tasking you to try to get them to love me and ask forgiveness, which, if they don’t, I will punish them with eternal torment far way from my presence. Get to work Christian.

Way too many themes of the Gospel are left out of that scenario. Our bondage and blindness, the drawing of God, the heart of Jesus in seeking the lost Himself, the promises of final victory. We seem to be in a pickle about so many important issues that the rapture ready crowd is seeing visions again. And déjà vu all over again.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Odds and Ends

I felt bad for the damage done to the fairground area of our rec center from the Jamboree and the Festival. Apparently they are doing something drastic about it.

My new camera bag to take to Hawaii this summer. I used the first one for a year and a half, and it will keep an old Canon AE-1. This is the Lowepro 202 aw that has all kinds of handy dandy storage. I have three lenses, my point and shoot and a Canon Flash, plus gadgets and batteries etc in the storage area.

Later in the summer we will be in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Florida. Hard to believe we may be observing another enormous disaster when we get there.

The grandkids came for the evening, we did McDonalds, went swimming, and now Shannon is doing a wonderful interpretation of Amazing Grace in the shower, our two boys will pay us a brief visit next week. Brian to see friends graduate from the UofA, Matt for some down time from his night time job. Life is good.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A melting Pot Nation, always has been, so melt!!!

California was settled by Catholic Priests, but California is not a catholic state. This is a picture of the Bell at the Mission in San Jaun Capistrano.

I have been saying this for many years. God got out of the nation business two thouand years ago when Jerusalem fell. The New Covenant is about the blessing of Abraham through Christ to all the nations.

Our nation was founded on Judeo/Christian ideas and influences, but not a Christian nation as per Calvins Geneva, where church attendance was enforced. A nation blessed of God because of her constitutional guarantees of freedom and equality.

We can and should protect our heritage but not at the expense of our diversity.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A good walk spoiled???

My weekly golf group had their final outing today so I took my morning off on Wednesday instead of Friday. Our regular golf course, The Duke, was purchased last year and is undergoing a lot of cost cutting measures, like drastically reducing the amount of bushes and trees.

Golf course maintenance is a huge cost and although the new owners got the course for a steal, it is very easy to lose golfers to other venues that are either cheaper, or more enjoyable. I have no complaints for the many wonderful hours spent trying to conquer my own crazy emotions and to create a repeating swing.

Today I did not have what it took, but as the temperature hit 97 I know that my golf from here on out with have the quality of an endurance contest.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Joy of Signing

Today we had a group in our multi-media room learning the basics of ASL signing. I was amazed at how intuitive many of the signs for simple words are, although Jan kept pointing out that the language is over 100 years old so the sign for girl is tieing a bonnet???!!!

Jan is signing for worship songs for us several times a year, and as she explains the movements we develop a deeper appreciation for the expressiveness of hand movements.

It was enlightening and enjoyable, although I am not ready to tackle the ASL alphabet, tried it once and got defeated. Next time I see some people communicating this way I know I will be a tiny bit more observant and connected to this great tool to help vast numbers of hear impaired people, and I feel myself getting closer to them with my own growing hearing problems.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Other Side of Town

These are the larget blooms on the smallest cactus I have ever seen.

Today I visited a woman who is dying too slowly for her personal preference. She is weak and cannot get out of bed and cannot eat the food she is given. To get to her nursing home I passed through an older and poorer part of Mesa and was struck with so many images of how much more basic and needy the residents of this area are than those in my part of town. The reality of it all, a woman wanting to die, people struggling to get my on busy streets in rundown apartments brought me again to realize how fortunate I have been because of my education and training and life choices. I saw people crossing the street with handicaps that have limited them, a man and women being pushed in a wheelchair while walking the dog.

Still, they live and laugh and find their joys, and still I cannot shake the deep conviction that God is love, even when the reality of those meaner streets and simpler folks fills my eyes. Madeline said she felt stuck, earth can’t use her and heaven won’t take her. I assured her that both were not true. The caring staff in the home told me she has dignity, and the hope in her heart that she would see her mother who died so long ago when she was eight, told me that heaven will receive her soon enough.

Sunday, May 2, 2010



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goodbye April, Hello May

You can see the Bobo on the door

April was a beautiful month of spring beauty. It was an expensive month for the Hendricks household because lots of things decided to break. Laura's car AC, our refrigerator, one of my teeth refused to take a filling and is being capped, Uncle Sam is broke and wanted some money from me. Yep, an expensive April, but still precious and joyful.

On this first day of May we said goodbye to our old fridge, which, sensing it was headed for the recycle dump, tried to come back to life yesterday and today. The new Fridge came with a dent on the freezer door, which they promised to replace.

I was trimming bushes like a mad artist and somehow my left index finger touched the blades of the trimmer. Thank God for rpms, I got two deep slices but the finger is still mine and will heal. It is limiting my texting practice on the smart phone though.

My tenth month of trice weekly exercise. I am enjoying the experience more than I can tell you, and thanking God I can move and feel healthy. Am pursuing a personal goal of losing a pound a week until we leave for our Hawaiian vacation. Not as easy as it sounds what with loving food and all.

My teaching this month will put some teeth in the touch of the Masters Hand by focusing on Imagio Deo, the image of God in which we were created and to which we are being restored, through Christ. Am loving the reading and thinking for this series.