Saturday, July 31, 2010
The abundant life consists not in the abundance of wealth and possession but in the abundance of the love and care of the Shepherd who loves the sheep and calls them by name, and they hear His voice and follow.
Next time we connect I will have found a wifi somewhere along the way to Palm Springs and beyond. This last vacation is very important because my spiritual ears will be attuned to the direction this years emphasis needs to take with the flock I am entrusted to guide and teach and lead to good pastures.
In all the years I have lived in the west, I have never driven north of Los Angeles. I have been to Monterrey and Fresno with a brief trip to San Francisco at night, but that was on business and by air. I am looking forwards to the drive and the time with good teachers.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Larry and I are headed to the Sacramento Area for a conference and study leave. On the way we hope to take brief side trips to Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park, camera in hand and hopes for great photos in mind.
Looking forward to hearing Os Guiness and a group keeping the Labri Tradition of thoughtful Christianity alive.
Laura will be at work and keeping the homefire lit. She does not care for road trips as much as I enjoy them.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I love traveling with my grandchild. She enables us to ack like kids on the beach. The shells were everywhere and quite spectacular in their abundance and variety and percent of unbroken shells.
On Ship Island we were encouranged to keep any shell that had not living inhabitants. No hermit crabs. I found myself asking all kinds of questions about these creatures. How do they find a shell? How do they trade up when they outgrow a shell?
I picked up this beautiful specimen, hoping it was a keeper, it was heavy and when I examined it, the crab was holding another shell as if his life depended on it. The smaller shell was occupied as well....so I thought.....is this an eviction?
My friend Larry and I transport the bag lunches prepared at our church office. We travel through an Indian reservation, speed limit 35. We were chatting away and entered the 45 mph warning before the 35 sign and we got pulled over doing 58 in a 45zone.
I felt really bad as the Officer went back to his car and pulled his ticket pad. But before he did that he asked why we had the truck filled with water? "We take lunch and water to the Pheonix Rescue Mission twice a month". He wrote on his pad, Larry was stoic about it, we messed up, we pay a price.
He returned with a warning but no ticket. We both knew he was lenient on this mission of mercy. Thank you Lord.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
One month ago today I spent an hour in one of the most charming and beautiful spots in the world, and way up on the list in my world. The home of Puff the Magic Dragon…..the Hanalea Bay, Kauai. It’s calm, idyllic, filled with history, and on the Sunday Afternoon we stopped by, was filled with trucks backed up to the beach providing shade for family outings.
The pier, featured in the film South Pacific has changed little. The sign posted No Diving from the Pier has the No crossed out, and a picnic bench was providing the platform for the jumpers and divers to enjoy the water. This was the fourth time I have visited here. The last time Laura and I were almost alone on the beach several years ago. You take it as you find it.
While eating lunch a line of white Trucks and Vans passed...the crew of Pirates of the Carribean for moving to set up location for the next scenes in the movie. I will be eagerly awaiting it...the plot...finding the fountian of youth.
One of my favorite metaphysical movies, What Dreams May Come, pictures the entrance of those who pass in a favorite place till they get used to the dynamics of spiritual life. I would be very pleased to be “sittin’ by the Dock of the Bay” as my first stop.
Monday, July 26, 2010
We began our vacation to the south with an evening in the French Quarter. You will find the set posted on the Flickr link, tell me if it fails to open.
When I was 15 my father and I took a business trip together. We bonded from a period of drifting on that four day trip which took us to the French Quarter for the first time.
In college, during my vain hair years I learned the Sebring cut from a stylist in New Orleans and went there several times for a hair cut.
We honeymooned in the St. Louis, where we stayed again after 35 years.....we are both worse for the wear. But it was still pretty neat.
During the Moss Point years we often went to spend a day off and eat and walk around that magic old place.
When Brian was in High School we spent a week in a firestation turned into a hotel, and without a car we walked all over the area and saw and experienced so many things.
We were here two years ago, and this year, and both times we watched the sky open up and pour at 4pm, the wet streets add to the charm.
The buildings are so beautiful, the people are so colorful, weird, desperate, funny, and sometimes threatening, but it makes for a memorable experience. Take a walk with us on Flickr, and if you ever get a chance, go there...its much more than Bourbon Street.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
For the first time in quite a while I am dealing with two sad situations in my circle of friends and relatives. Both involve things that should not be, that hurt many around them and are injurious to themselves.
Lots of times we get away with things, and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we sow to the flesh and reap the whirlwind. Sometimes we have to pay for our mistakes and wrong decisions. To the degree that loved ones suffer for these things, I am saddened and cannot do anything to change the fruits of these situations.
Pretty enigmatic? I just needed to share something in my heart and cannot share with any detail.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
All of the major components of this marvelous planet earth work in harmony to provide for the manifold creation of God. The Moon, The Stars, the Streams and Rivers that flow into the Sea.
This past month I spent many happy moments looking at and listening to the ocean as it crashed upon one shore or another. We sat and stared at the Mississippi Gulf every morning while we drank our coffee on the front porch.
Much discussion not only about the economic problems associated with the spill, but the ecological even more so. Our oceans are so important to life and its sustenance.
We observed a desperate search for a missing snorkeler near black rock in Maui as a rip current swept a wife and mother away. The ocean is unforgiving when we are caught in her currents, waves, winds, and crushing surf.
And yet, the sea shall give up her dead one day, which I am sure means God's memory of those lost at sea. How many, many, there are. Yet God knows them all. I also remember the calming of the storm, which Jesus did to teach His disciples that much of his power was to be hidden and subjegated to His mission of mercy.
As one raised in the middle of the country, the ocean was a rare experience for me, and now, in my golden years, I cherish every moment I get to watch a sunset or a sunrise against the vast blue sea.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Now this is a great looking salad, and something we should all enjoy every day.
My idea was to set special eating and workout goals for two weeks. I always start great and then struggle when I am not having the success I had hoped for. I wander about the advisability of this kind of goal setting. I actually love watching the clock when I am walking or doing aerobic exercise, but when I limit food choices I get all cranky and out of sorts. That was the case yesterday.
I read a book on working out by Madonna's workout coach, who is quite a decent, modest and family oriented man, and he discouraged doing anything other than healthy eating and regular workouts for however long it takes, without obsessing on the scale or the results. This has actually been working for me better than the press, but I am going to finish, and be very very thankful for having this new enjoyment of physical conditioning.
I just discovered Tumbleweed has an adult lounge so I am writing this post from the quiet privacy and free wifi of the club. I added and sorted some more pictures to Flickr as well. Check them out. My Maui set is now chronological from first day to last.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The shared gravesite of Roy and Dorothy Hendricks, Barrancas Memorial Cemetary, Saufley Field Naval Air Force Base, Pensacola, FL.
When you are a pastor in a seniors community you are confronted with mortality on a regular basis. I never get used to it. People with diagnosed cancer, serious mobility issues, weary caregivers who are in their 70s, taking care of parents nearing 100. It goes on.
One of the impressions I took away from the groups of people we met on vacation was a general secularism that has filled our American mindset. People are not wicked, they are just materialistic and focused on the things that fill our lives without developing spiritual characteristics.
Aging does not allow you to be thoughtless about life and death. That is part of the blessing of my life when I get out of my car at the hospital or the nursing home. One day it will be me in the bed.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Three of four "old" children of Roy and Dorothy Hendricks
Laura's car sat for over three weeks, and was running very badly when we filled it with gas at our regular place. The Dealership could not figure out what it needs and recommended two things, which rang a bell. Thankfully Laura has been filing our repair history and both those things were done 15 months ago. I feel a bit funny about the repair facility not knowing the cars repair history. I think I will look for a repair place closer to our home. They did recommend some better gas to be run through the car.
I was pleased to have a web presence as two friends were able to find me through a google search.
Not much going on today. I have many vacation pictures for you to enjoy on my Flickr link. Many sunrises and sunsets, which fascinate me immensely.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Those who go down to the sea in ships learn about the power and danger and depth of the sea. That's how the Psalmist puts it. I have been reflecting on why our vacations are almost always near the ocean. In addition to Laura's upbringing on the gulf coast I believe we both take strength and mystery from the vastness, the predictability and the danger of the sea and surf. Its a pretty big subject in the bible, and in history. Someone had to sail to get to this nation, the oceans define the continents and thus the nations and cultures that develop around those places.
Finally, we are given dominion over the creatures of the sea, and the fishing industry has been part and parcel of every age of human development. I am developing my thoughts for Sundays message.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Too many McDonalds french frys, all you can eat fried shrimp, jambalaya, chips, etc. make the need for a rededication to the program. My exercise has been real consistent for many months so I decided to try a two week press, I am eating only fruits, veggies, and proteins. Day three is done and it is going well, plus I added one hour daily exercise for the two weeks to see how I do.
We are still being helped by the series of Books with really cool pictures. Eat this, not That and Cook this not that. We were really enjoying the steamed vegatables that hit the market last year....until the price started to go up. Now they have steam bags for sale you can dump fresh or frozen veggies in and get that steamed and buttered taste.
Tonights grilled chicken was also enhanced with Stubbs Texas Barbeque Sauce, with one fourth the amount of sugar in the other store brands. Very spicy and with more vinegar taste, we loved it. Laura heads back to prepare for another school year so I am gearing up to be the evening cook again. My meals are bland, simple and boring.
A meat, a veggie, a salad. The stuff of life and health.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The second thing my sweet southern wife wanted after Cafe DuMond was a Zero Candy Bar. It is her absolute favorite because of the white chocolate coating and obviously delicious nougat.
For some reason it has not been readily available in our area of Pheonix. I have seen them on the way to Tucson. If you know of a good place to find them here let me know.
We shared two the day we spent at the Plantation, and two were purchased for the trip home, of which this photo is off the last, now in the fridge waiting for her. I have entered a two week press of healthy eating since I am heading toward the first anniversery of my commitment to regular workouts and want to get off the vacation weight gain quickly. So its hers, and I am happy she enjoys it so much. If you ever see one of these....try it. You are in for a treat.
We attended the 8:30 service of Secondmile Church this morning. They meet in a high school auditorium. It is a daughter church plant of East Valley Bible Church and they are close to 400 in attendance after a year.
I am most pleased that the woman who you see on the worship team is my Daughter Melissa, singing a strong alto harmony with the worship pastor. I miss drums and guitars, but what felt really the same, what made me very thankful for this church and others like it...is that they are radically monergistic. Now that is a big word for a group of gospel preaching folks who believe the God is the author and finisher of our faith, that He is sovereign and in control, and the one who saves us, not we ourselves.
This leads to reverence, and worshipfulness, and the searching of the scripture to see who God is, not tring to make him in our image. I was very impressed and blessed.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One of Walter Anderson's Murals in Ocean Springs, MS
We have expanded Shannons experiences in this wonderful country.
The several unpleasant things that happened over the last month of traveling all involved people losing their temper and showing it publicly. One man waiting in line to try to get a flight out of New Orleans was so angry he kept cursing loudly and once I heard him say "I wish I was dead". He must have been missing something important.
After many decades of life, I still stumble the worst when I am made to wait in line or feel things around me are being poorly handled. My low point was when the same man who told me the plane was canceled and seemed to cast the crowd to their own devices, negotiated with a man in our line for over a half hour about his choices. I was steaming and Laura pointed out that this is a poor trait.
After getting home safely I should really be thankful that the people who decide to fly or not to fly are putting safety over comfort and scheduling. I apologize for letting my anger flow through my heart and this blog. The airline industry has been kicked in the teeth ever since the shoe bomber and 9-11.
I am not leading service tomorrow. When I made my original plans for the south, it was for a long golfing and personal time alone trip and I would still be in Pensacola. When Laura and Shannon decided to come it changed everything since Laura had to get back. It was all very good. This whole extended vacation gift from my leadership was a blessing. We have seen and enjoyed this time so deeply. I have so many wonderful times of visiting and sightseeing and laughing and relaxing and being amazed that as time passes they will be even more sweet to my mind and heart.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wise saying...in flying....two strikes and you are out of my plans.
Well, we enjoyed our first Airline mandatory overnight stay, were up at five, taken back to the New Orleans Airport, boarded a plane and flew uneventfully to Dallas. We boarded the plane for Phoenix at 9:45 am, sat in the very last row next to the engine, saw a discussion taking place up front, and....twice in two days days a fully loaded plane was taken out of service. My granddaughter was getting a little upset as she missed her mom. So we deplaned again.
This time since we were in American Airlines hub they fetched a replacement and we finally made in home an hour and a half late. That's two broken planes in two days...it took four planes to make two flights. Yes, I know braking before you take off is better than braking while your flying!!!!!!! but, I may just pass American Airlines up in my flying plans for a while. Two strikes your out.
We are home, the cats are excited as cats can be, which is not very. We are excited to be around familiar things. I miss coffee out of real mugs.
Linda and Charlie love fifth wheeling. They just return from a month in the south and up to Virginia, well...that still the south, but almost not.
We are sitting at the same gate as yesterday, after a pleasant evening at the Fairfield Marriot, courtesy of American Airlines. I am really ready to return to my own bed, full of two cats who will be happy to have us back. We lost a lovely man in the church who has been ready to go for a long time, and a daily joy to his wife and family and neighbors, I will miss Ken.
Laura has just a few days before she reports back for another teaching year. I will be back at work until the final leg of our summer travels, a study and conference vacation. I am very pleased to have found the annual Labri Conference in Central California. A line of of Christian thinkers and philosophers who I will enjoy.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Katie and Shannon became real buds.
Yesterday we visited with my sister Judy from upstate New York. I took the time to upload about one thousand pictures of our Hawaii trip on Flickr. You are appreciated if you take some time to enjoy the images.
It has been a fine vacation.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
7:40 AM Teeing off at Cypress Lakes Golf Course, leaving wife and grandaughter to sleep at 6 AM. Some good shots were made with borrowed clubs, but it was mainly the outdoors, the fun of hanging with my Brother in Law and his golfing buddies.
A repeat of Pensacola Beach, although further down toward Ft. Pickens. The Shells were outstanding but both my ladies picked up more oil stains along the shore and some of the most outstanding were oil coated.
Thinking I would pass on taking the camera and protecting it from the white sand, I almost missed a very special experience as three sting rays joined us on the beach and played in an eddy for over an hour. I went back to get the camera and got some great memories.
A Birthday Cake and Ice Cream with a Hot Dog Dinner. Boy are we going cold turkey on overeating when we get home. Ten years ago I had a serious health challenge and asked for more time. Thank you Lord for the last ten great years of watching my family grow. May I renew for another ten? Lord?
Monday, July 12, 2010
Today we enjoyed a return trip to the Naval Air Museum which is always inspiring, a stop to visit my parents gravesite on the base, and a wonderful swimming time at Pensacola Beach, right where Barack Obama walked last month.
Some tar balls, but not enough to ruin the day or foul the water. My oldest sister Judy will join us tomorrow for my birthday, we are just missing Janet who was unable to make the trip.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Pelican and gull floating along with the boat.
Don coming in the clouds
Oak Alley, Louisiana
Shannons first Biegnet at Cafe Du Mond
Linda has a hotspot in the house so I am sitting at a keyboard for the first time on our coastal trip. We gathered with 40 faithful at the Gautier Presbyterian Church for services...the amazing thing is that they received so many gifts after Katrina they were able to build a nice new Sanctuary.
We took a side trip to Fairhope, Ala. which Laura and I decided we could move to tomorrow and love. Quaint shops, beautiful shoreline, nice homes, flowers everywhere.
All you can eat shrimp at the Shrimp Basket, which meant one refill for us, but then Dairy Queen, so help me, I slipped off the wagon!!!!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Ship Island was a blast. The fort was historic. Rebuilt facilities very nice. The birds followed the boat for the one hour trip catching snack food . We had a warm swim, a shell walk, spotted a large sand shark feeding just off shore and went through a cooling rain coming home. Some oil but not bad
Friday, July 9, 2010
Walked 90 minutes to see the homes across the bayou, especially a half octagon where the owner ran out of money. Shannon is watching her great aunt practice piano for Sunday, a deja vu from when her mom sat at the same place taking lessons 20 years ago. This home was Buds wedding gift to Martha
Thursday, July 8, 2010
We passed miles of empty beautiful white sand beaches, We saw and touched the wet sticky Goo from quarter to silver dollar size. I said a foolish thing before arriving, you cannot enter this water safely. Ate at Little Rays and Jenny's Catfi
The barrier islands make this view look more like a lake. Red and yellow boons to catch the oil float 100 yards offshore. Bus sized sheets of muck are landing in Long Beach where will go today to visit Lauras lifelong friend. I just sent a picture of my view to Flickr.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
When I moved to the East Valley, I watched cities tried to keep up with explosive growth. Jackson Co. is struggling to revitalize after being kicked by storm, job loss and mass exodus. We enjoyed our time here twenty years ago, but at present its for those tough enough or deeply tied to the area. It's a wet heat, a city under siege from the ocean disaster, just as she was getting things going in a deathly direction.
As we drove along Highway 90, crews of workers were patrolling the shoreline for oil debree. Aunt Martha lives on the sound, as we enjoy the view and the muggy air I watch flocks of brown Pelicans,once endangered. now flourishing, and utter a prayer for their safety. We are sleeping in the lower story destroyed by the waters of Katrina and rebuilt by volunteer Christian crews. This week I am greatfully whistling Dixie
Monday, July 5, 2010
The St Louis Hotel was built long ago, and we return for a stay after 35 years, the second day of our honeymoon. We walked, had jambalaya, coffee and beignets at the Dumond,gazed at the Mississippi River and watched a real gushed of a rainstorm. Shannon is a bit overwhelmed by the street people. Long day of travel, lots of memories of previous visits.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
This is the Grove Farm Cane Tunnel, built with untrained labor in 8 months in 1947-48 to transform cane to the dock, 1/2 mile long, very crude but very effective, no supports but the dirt and the weight of the mountain.
Hope you all enjoyed the day. We are watching the Capitol Fourth, a great evening of patriotism and talent.
Early AM we fly Continental through Houson to New Orleans, will be staying in our Honeymoon Hotel, The St. Louis. Pictures of the French Quarter to come. I could get used to this travel freely around the country way of life.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Plunging into year 35!!!! The minute it ceased to be a joy and becomes a job I should retire.
I was surprised by joy on a June 27th of my 17th year. I thought immediately about sharing that joy as a vocation. I got three degrees and was set apart to preach and teach on a Sunday evening June 27th, of my 26th year. Seven days later I led worship on our Nations 200th Birthday, July 4th, 1976. So, when our independence day and my anniversary of ordination coincide it is a reflective time......except for last week when I was enjoying the freedom of playing hookie from my vocation on vacation and I forgot. Am I making sense to anyone????
So...tomorrow I celebrate 34 years of being a pastor/teacher. It's big for me.
Preaching on Micah 6:8. A Fourth of July Dinner in the PM. Bar B Qued Chicken. Yum.
Friday, July 2, 2010
So, We are back, I am in the office, I have a laptop. I was finally able to see the photos full size that the little Android took, and I am impressed with their quality.
I took 400 on the point and shoot Canon when we were in places not easy to lug the big Canon, and 1200 on the SLR. It was fun.
Counting a couple of hours in Honolulu, we actually were in four islands, Maui, Lanai, Kauai, and Oahu. Memories are many, some of the sweeping impressions are the sound of strong waves, the powerful winds, brooks and streams. Visual things I appreciated were things like, moss covered rocks, cane, trees and plants I have never seen before, and the never ending volcanic rock.
June is a big vacation month in Hawaii, economy or not, it was busy and crowed.
People on vacation are a pleasure to visit and chat with for the most part.
Food is too expensive and the quality of restaurants is all over the map.
The leeward sides of islands are dry as Arizona, ever dryer.
My wife is really a great vacation companion.
Costcos, Walmarts, and McDonalds are everywere.
Sand can burn your feet.
Birds are big beggars, and selfish when they get a morsel.
Vacationing with another couple is fun.
Six hours on a plane is a long time.