Hawaii 2010

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ipod Update

Every Hawaiian resort has a guitarist playing ballads by the legendary IZ.

My 80 gig Ipod will be three this Christmas and is running like a charm. I am nearing 7000 songs in my pocket. This is an accessibility unknown in former decades.
My favorite genre is New Age, which is an misleading term for what is known as ambient music. Quiet piano, beautiful strings, haunting artists like Yanni, and Enya, and my favorite extinct label, Windham Hill Music. You can still find these in used CD stores, featuring the discovery of artists like Jim Brinkman, George Winston, and many others.

I love my Pop Genres with Abba, Simon and Garfunkel, Celine, Josh Grobin. Of course I have a ton of Christian music, more Celtic music than the average person. Hawaiian too.

Our country collection is lagging, just did not grow up listening to it, except for Porter Wagner and Chet Atkins on TV in the south. But the growing number of contempary groups have a kind of cross over sound that we love. In fact, tonight we are headed to a concert by one of the top sounds in Country, Lady Antebellum, with their "Need You Now" Tour. Wandering if country music folks will wear costumes to a Halloween Evening Concert?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Continuing Reformation

We had this drum and shakers played skillfully in church recently. It sounded beautiful with our African sounding melody.

The historic reformation went as far as they could see, and changed as much as they were ready to experience. In the Protestant wing of Christianity it might be safe and kind to say that many of our denominations were at one point, efforts to recover or reform essential truths.

It should be more than the proper grasp of a doctrine, it should be the truths that transform us, and those can be practiced and improved and developed and become flexible with the needs of the hour.

It is hard to know if something you believe has been tainted with man made ideas or false concepts. You must have a healthly distrust of your own traditions and a willingness to hear fresh approaches. The discussions must be respectful. I was impressed by Scott McKnight when discussing something as potentially volatile as atonement theories, described it like a bag of golf clubs, in which certain sticks accomplish certain results...he thus enabled readers to look at different views without pulling out thier green sticks and matches to roast a brother alive.

Usually reformation comes when tensions are discussed and people become willing to reconsider without fear of being attacked by those he or she respects. The tendency for people to build a hardened wall of truth and defend it to the death is an enemy to reformation. Can reformation come without an institution imploding, or exploding or splitting? That is a difficult question. Sometimes the youngest, with the largest passions, and the shortest patience rush the desire to change and become agents of hurtfulness. Sometime the older saints, can become the most sincere roadblocks to growing in the fullness of reformation experience. We are at the cusp of a new reformation, please examine your willingness to listen and change.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Issues

This little guy went trick or treating, and never had a store bought costume. I think he was a hobo or a pirate a good bit with a red bandana.

I am long past caring what people do for Halloween. It can certainly be harmless fun or an opportunity to witness through putting on an alternative party.

What saddens me is how lost the History of the Reformation is, and the role it played in the freedoms we enjoy and the uniqueness of the American adventure. I love the idea of always reforming according to the truth. It is a willingness to question long standing tradition and to examine doctrine and dogma. The reformers wanted a clearer experience of the faith, and the conflict with Roman dogma would not allow them to listen and respond except in attempts to stifle and control. Unfortunately the split was not pretty and many paid a price to pursue religious freedom.

People are still refining and reforming and recovering from dead traditions, and others are active in criticizing and judging. I believe we are at the cusp of a new reformation that will possibly heal some of the rifts that threaten our future.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuck Everlasting

We had a movie afternoon at the study room today. Disney's Tuck Everlasting won a Scholastic Award for meaningful movies so they used it in High Schools for discussion.

This charming movie comes with a series of discussions throughout the movie about the issues raised in the story which was written by Natalie Babbit. A Family becomes immortal and ageless by drinking from a pool of water. Turns out not to be a blessing for them. The movie is beautifully acted and filmed. I will be interested to see how Pirates of the Caribbean IV deals with the fountain of youth myth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Dentist

The Methodists have a nice sanctuary, I was proud of my F4 Canon for taking this fine a shot.

Laura and I have been using the same dental office for 20 years. Dr. B. is a not stop talker, singer, joker. When I am there I give as much as I take. I have known his sweet staffers for a long time as well. My only complaint is that he keeps finding things to fix and repair in my mouth. He owns a Biplane and we are pretty sure we have made a few payments for him over the years. It's a great atmosphere.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cap and Collar

Our inter faith fellowship has flown two men from South Carolina to sing and share with us tonight. They are folk guitarists who sing about peace, love and understanding. One is a Jewish Rabbi, the other a Methodist Pastor. We have packed out the Methodist Church for this event. People everywhere are hoping that dialogue and civility and tolerance can diffuse the anger that grips much of our world, including among the worlds major religions.

I am slowing working my way through the book "The Case for Civility" by Oz Guiness and I am convinced those who love the way of peace can influence the world for God's Kingdom and good. I have believed this since I was converted, blessed are the peacemakers.

PostScript: It was a great concert. They were original, funny, talented and demonstrated brotherly love for all of us. A great evening of faith and fun.

Monday, October 25, 2010


College Days with Mike and Betty,one of my favorite old pictures.

My first girlfriend had parents who were blind. She and her mother had beautiful solo voices. I went to college with her brother, attended his wedding, and was saddened a bit when their first child was born blind. She and my daughter went to Christian School together.

A few years ago I asked a friend how that little girl Ginny was doing. "You don't know", Ginny is a very gifted musician with two albums to her credit, she travels and sings with Micheal W. Smith at times.

You have no idea how joyful it is to hear her sing, and know the back story of her family. I am listening to "Say Amen, Hymns and Songs of Faith" by Ginny Owens, and she is powerful, Sings, plays piano,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodbye to Al K.

I sent my Canon Point and Shoot with Laura to Disney and they took 20 pictures. I would have come back with ten times that amount.

Al lost a brief battle with liver cancer this weekend. He was one of the most active 83 year olds I have ever met. In the gym daily, he was until two years ago a skier and hiker, and avid fisherman. He loved life and loved the Lord.

After a long career in the military service he used his engineering and problem solving skills in the oil industry as one of his companies troubleshooters. He was a fixer.

After retirement he enjoyed watching financial issues and investing, with a passion I have rarely seen outside of a brokerage. It was a blessing to see him troubleshooting his approaching absence and preparing for his wife to go on without him. We were privileged to have him serving on our board at the time of his death. He will be missed, a man who had a great life, and he told us so, and did not fear death.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In praise of Al 13

My father, a man content to work hard and be a good provider for his family.

The 13th element is aluminium. The third most plenteous element on the earth besides oxygen and silicon, so I read. It is too unstable to exist by itself so it attaches to Bauxite or other metals from the earth. It is light, silver grey, very easily molded and pounded, and is non magnetic. At one time it was as precious as silver, the tip of the Washington Monument is Aluminum.

R.S. Reynolds borrowed 100k from his father R.J, to build a plant in Louisville KY to produce aluminum products in the 1920s, the first and most successful was the wrapper to keep his Dad's cigarette packs fresh. There is not a kitchen in the world that does not make use of many forms of aluminum.

Reynolds Metals merged with Alcoa and has about 60,000 employees around the world. Every year more aluminum is recyclen that manufactured. It was Reynolds Metals that employed my Dad,a Navy Sea bee after the war when mom and Dad had kids 2,3, and me. Aluminum proved to be an awesome material for truck bodies, light and repairable. This industry kept us eating and moving throughout the 50s,60s, and 70s. I learned to weld aluminum and to be the guy inside the truck moving the steel hammer while it was riveted from the outside, and it was loud in there.

My father never got rich, we never went hungry, the Reynolds families were probably very rich, and I don't care, for aluminum was very good to my family. Neither my father nor the Reynolds got to take anything with them when they died. My father was content with food and clothing, and modest housing. Can't speak for the Reynolds. In the 80s while buying bauxite mines, they discovered gold which helped the companies profit margins a good bit.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cash for Clunkers....Sort of

This was an Oldsmobile Delta 88, one of many of my beloved transportations.

A year ago I traded a 92 Honda Vigor in for a new car. The cars mpg would not qualify for the real government program, but the Kia dealership offered the same deal for any car.

This Vigor belonged to a salesman whose bosses finally asked him to get a newer car for the company image. It was given to me after I lost my car to a wreck and I drove it thankfully for over a year. When I traded it in there were 237,000 miles on the car. Her blue book value was 350 dollars. I had some repair costs and the brakes were going so I jumped on the offer.

Yesterday I was in the mall parking area for a lunch meeting, and there she was, same missing piece of rubber. I told the women she was driving my old car and she said its been running fine. Never underestimate a car dealers ability to make an extra buck.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Bill

Bill and Millie spent a career in fire fighting in New Jersery. She raised three kids who all followed Bill in loving music. Bill was for many years a regular soloist in our church who sang the great hymns with sincerity and enthusiasm.

In recent years they have slowed down and moved into a retirement apartment. We enjoyed a lovely meal with dear friends who have enjoyed Bill through out the years. He is a teaser and we all got our share of it tonight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winter Rye, oceans of green

We teed off on one of our most beautiful golf courses yesterday. The back nine just opened after reseeding. They put down lush green rye from fence to lake front and it was breathtakingly uniformly lush.

The first few weeks it is kept high to build strength and depth. And it was so green and wet that it grabbed your ball and reduced roll dramatically. A brisk breeze added to the loss of length.

I fell into my inevitable habit of swinging harder, and....it all went downhill.
Yes, I had a few pars, but four 8s on your card makes a big number. Hacking, dunking it in the many water hazards. One of the highlights was a flock of Canadian Geese feeding on the landing area of a par five with absolutely no fear of flying balls.

If you are not a desert dweller, the winter grass is a real attraction for our visitors, and a major part of our dove populations diet. I took a camera and forgot the card again, and forgot I had a smart phone camera.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lost in Translation

The California Sequoias thrive in a small band of altitude and conditions, and they have grown to massive porportions that draw people to visit and marvel, as I finally did this summer. I want wifey to see this in person.

I enjoyed the movie, and much of the last ten years have involved dusting off my Greek skills to examine the original language of scripture in the development of our theological frameworks.

I have been sharing some of the tradition that has arisen around the Greek word eon, and aionian, the noun and the adjective. New testament Greek, Paul in particular joins the words to mean ages upon ages. My point, and I rest upon great tradition and strong shoulders, even if minority in number, in holding the link between the time/space continuum and our future. Paul calls it a spiritual body, but it is indeed both spiritual and a body. Our age enduring life unfolds in many amazing chapters. God's purposes in reconciling all things to Himself will be accomplished.

It's good news.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanks for 10,000 hits

I began blogging in August of 2008 after returning from my 40th High School Reunion in Jackson, MS. I added a counter about a year ago and it clicked past 10,000...and thanks for each of you that want to share a moment of your browsing time checking in.

I have not wanted to become a Theo-blogger, because I wanted to keep it up daily so that people would want to stop by regularly. I love sharing my pictures...this is a visual medium.

Some days I have inspiration, some I am tired, some times guarded from the real things I am thinking, always amazed that someone from another country or culture might click in and see someone who loved his first computer in 1984 and tried to keep up with the waves of change ever since. I have some temptation to go Apple but have resisted except for my dearly appreciated Ipod.

I know many of you are not inclined to comment and that is fine, those who do are appreciated, we all write and display for an audience in this medium. Bless you all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Memories of the beginning

So thankful that you can digitize old prints so inexpensively. This is an historic moment that has been recreated thousands of times in thousands of weddings, but when it is you, you never forget it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The limits of Godliness

Earlier this week with one of Disney's great pumpkins. Laura said her feet and legs were killing her...are we getting too old for Disney? I think not.

Paul's epistles are both timely and cultural. He is saying somethings, IMO that will change with the passing of time, such as the condemnation of pearl necklaces and the endorsement of slavery.

There are some warnings that have a real timelessness, like the warning that there will be some attempting to use religion as a means of great gain materially. There is a great difference between trusting God for your daily bread and writing your own paycheck with positive confession.

I also see that the growth in godliness cannot be hastened, and will not be free from trials and difficulties, instead, the obstacles will be part of God's plan for our continuing transformation into the likeness of the image of God in the face of Christ.

Today I stopped by to visit a stroke survivor, slowly rebuilding strength and clarity, and also a man with a terminal illness, taking each day with the best attitude he can muster while he feels his strength draining away.

I cling and rejoice in my original proposition, exercising our selves in godliness has great benefit in this life....and the life to come.

Friday, October 15, 2010

She is Back

Great to have my wife on the couch sharing stories of their two day disney adventure.

Always interesting to hear of major rides changing, major additions to California Adventure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

Today was the kick off Meeting for the 2010 month long Christmas Gift box for children around the world, sponsored by Franklin Grahams ministry.

This will be our second year, about 15,000 boxes were put together by believers in the East Valley area of Phoenix. We did about 120 in our church and look forward to participating again.

We were inspired by the testimony of a woman raised in poverty and abuse in Appalachia and has traveled all over speaking for and delivering Christmas boxes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Outdoors and alive

The family is exhausting themselves in the Magic Kingdom. I have been getting cute pictures sent to me and a note from my wife during one of our favorite times and places, drinking coffee at the Plaza Cafe at the end of Main Street.

When she texted I was standing at the 17th tee of the Club West Golf Course in Auwatukee Foothills. This is truly a beautiful blend of desert mountains and developments.

I have not played for quite a while since I have been dealing with a muscle strain. It was delightful and a bit warm and physically tiring as well. A great day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kudos to Channel 8 on God in America

Its a Small World after all...
and Disney's desire to share the joys of his American childhood and to celebrate the creativity of Americans in settling the country, establishing cities, traveling the world, and moving boldly into the future....we love what he did and let go and return to our own innocent childhood when we go through those gates to revel in the fantasy that is life.

My family is safely esconced in the Disneyland Hotel, ready to use their two day passes tommorow and Thursday. My Son in Law is in an Educational Computer Conference and will enjoy the last day. I am here, home, holding the remote control and enjoying the solitude.

I am enjoying watching day 2 of God in American which is pretty powerful stuff for much needed discussions of the danger of those who are positive God is on their side.
The Civil War photos and Lincolns struggle were very powerful.

My son in law needed a vehicle and as a computer nerd/genius type he laid out a goal for price, gathered a list, worked a plan and ended up with a car driven conservately, kept very clean, and sold by the widow who lost his wife, the driver of the car, and was willing to sell it reasonably. Way to go J. T. It is a 2004 Kia Rio Hatchback, just what they need.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Solitude ahead

When they stopped letting people enter the park it was already more crowded that I could ever imagine last year after Christmas.

After a week of Laura's fall vacation and five days of grand kids, tomorrow will begin a four day empty house, just me and the cats, as they head for a brief visit with Mickey Mouse and friends. I am looking forward to some quiet time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So, God will be in the News and on TV this week

Half Dome, Yosemite. Picked from a photo blog..now that I have seen this view I can die a bit more fulfilled with the places I have seen."

This mornings paper says that our view of who God is in American is widely divergent.

Some see Him as Authoritative, some as Benevolent, some as Critical and Judgmental.

They way we see Him affects the way we live and relate and develop our reactions to life.

So, since I have a calling to share God with people, how do we participate in this conversation on PBS and in the papers?

So much of the pain in my life has been from people criticizing me because my view of God or scripture in not as deep as theirs, or plain wrong. In my former denomination no matter how reformed I attempted to be there was always some group more reformed and with it than me or my group.

So I go on this personal and private quest to ask myself, Who is God, and make some interesting shifts in my thinking that are deeply blessing me in all the confusion around me. Am I contributing to the same problem by trying to correct someones view of who God is? Is'nt that how true revival and reformation take place? Are not the websites highly critical of some churches and movements just trying to defend the view of God they have revered for all their lives? How do we relate to people outside the Christian faith whose views of God are all over the map?

Some times I get a bit weary of defending and explaining God....and talk about toilets and grand kids and golf, and the beauty of life and our Creator reflected in nature....and that....I hope.....is OK with God!!!!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Godliness is Holy as He is, not Holier than Thou

The barren Haleakela Crater, Maui.

We do not develop our own righteousness, but strengthen that which is supplied through faith in the finished work of Christ. In ITim. Paul is telling us that working our faith muscles had tremendous value for this life and the next. It is however the Godliness of Christ, so when Paul speaks almost catechistacly of the mystery of Godliness, it has more to do with what Christ accomplished in His life and death than about what we do in the exercise of our faith.

Never any boasting, and never any real need to appear haughty and proud by what we become. Holiness in Christ is very warm and inclusive and attractive, even when He is blasting his own people. It is the Holier than Thou crowd that upset him, and the broken and humble that He tenderly ministered too. That is the Godliness I want to see flowing from Him through me, for my benefit and the kindgom, now and coming.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Day of Domestic Necessity

There is no place like home!

This month marks seven years in our current home. Built in 1989 she is over twenty now, and we are planning some kitchen and floor redoes. The Berber carpet was cleaned today which mean we moved furniture outside and are now walking on damp carpet.

We finally added a water softener several months ago, and yesterday I saw something in the guest bathroom toilet bowl that looked like one of the kids had put some cardboard in the bowl. It was, amazingly twenty years of hard water stain that had released itself from the bottom of the bowl, which now looks brand new. Sorry, I just had to share that piece of our common life, we all have bathrooms.

As I said before, my wife is project oriented during her school breaks. The kids swam and we ate at McDonald's which was concluded with us adding up the amount of calories we each consumed with our choices. The Southwest Salad was a winner...my share of a large portion of french fries was not.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The benign neglect of child #2

Last night at Disneyland Christmas 2009

The first child gets your undivided attention, you talk to them, you read to them, you spend quality time, you want every advantage in life to be theirs. Number two get dual time and suddenly less alone time, less reading time with two to handle. It happened with us and now with our grandkids. Ben is lagging a bit in kindergarten in recognition of some letters and numbers, and of course we are watching his college scholarship slip away???? in Kindergarten????

Any how, Laura, the worlds greatest first grade teacher is spending quality time for the next few days while mom and dad are having away time at a conferece, and it will continue when a second conference takes everyone.....but me.....to Disneyland.

I am looking foward to four days of cat sitting while I continue my fall schedule here in good old Sun Lakes, AZ.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Caring about our immediate future

I spent a week of prayer, contemplation and nature enjoyment in this cabin in Northern Idaho several years ago, it was built from logs cut right on the property. Every day the deer came to the salt lick outside the door. I made some decisions that week that are still bearing fruit in my life for good.

I met a brilliant young Muslim physician yesterday. He is fighting a fight to get to the core issue of what is wrong with the Muslim faith that is bringing the world to the brink of disaster. He says that, ironically, it is the confusion of church and state. The radical muslim agenda does not come from the pure Quran, but from other writings, hadiths? that promote violence and control of the countries they colonize politically. In other words, Sharia Law is not true muslim doctrine, and wherever it is practriced their is abuse of women, lose of freedom, and severe political disunity.

He is fighting to create reformation of these destructive practices and it is a long battle with many problems that could arise where American fear and national politics could defeat efforts at coexistence and dialogue.

I pray a lot for peace, and for the continued opportunity to live a quiet and peaceful life. It is sort of out of my control.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Streams in the Desert

Weather for ducks.

After one third of my life invested in desert living I cannot tell you what a delight I just had sitting on the back porch watching the rain pour off the roof. We are having some climate change and Laura, home for a two week vacation, had noted that the storms on both days started exactly the moment she and her fellow teachers would have been struggling to load kids into cars. She teaches at a magnet school with no bus service, so its a chaotic fifteen minutes.

We just purchased a new dishwasher, for the older one had quite doing what it was hired to do. Its a good think Laura is going to California because when she is home she launches into a cleaning frenzy that makes me nervous......well, truly I am blessed to have a women who will not tolerate dirt in the house, now cat fur and dander is another unfortunate story.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Approaching Hoofbeats???

Sunset at Shipwreck Beach, Poipu Point, Kaui.

Beginning a study of the Kingdom of God and the End of the Age. Its not about end times eschatology but about God working in and through history.

Billy Graham wrote a commentary on Revelation in 1983 and in the first chapter he spoke of everyonessense of hopelessness in the current situation. Now I remember 1983 and it was a pretty good year for us, we were young, I was about to buy my first home computer.

Thats the problem with eschatology, just how long can you hear the hoofbeats of the four horsemen and have it be authentic prophecy?

This quarters headlines seem pretty grim, but who know what will happen to calm or explode things. Which is why I am more interested in studying the soverignty of God in History and how He works things to conclusions He desires. We pray and work but there is just so much mystery in God's ways with man. That's why we are starting with a look at William Cowpers great hymn, God moves in a mysterious way.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Night Pizza

Note to self, do not eat like a Whale or I will blubber up again.

Our winter season has arrived. Bible Studies begin, cooler weather promised this week. And with an increase in fellowship comes an increase in food. We are determined not to succumb to the seasonal weight gain this year. But the Pizza at Floridino's is close to if not the best I have ever enjoyed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The ends and the means

Disney 2006, the older your vaca pics are, the more precious as you see your grandkids growing. Laura and the kids are going to Disney next week and I am not invited...and I am OK with it.

Do the ends justify the means? It is always a lively topic in ethics discussions. Our side is right so its OK to lie cheat and steal to win our point.

I think for Christ followers the way we get there is as important as the thing we desire. This is the point about civility in Guiness book. We can have huge disagreements with what is best for America, but not resorting to violence and villainy to achieve them is as important as achieving them.

There is lots of talk about a book on the left about how to get things done politically, and some conservatives are saying those things work, even though they are morally questionable, we conservatives need to use the same book to win politically. I think this is a bad idea. The mutual character destruction and distortion in the political attack adds makes me sad enough to withdraw from the public square. No one wins when this is our methodology. John McCain had an announcer on his adds with a voice so dripping with sarcasm toward the opponent that his voice was all by itself making you despise the other person. A huge dismissive proud sounding voice. I really could not stomach those commercials.

Too many Christians forward anything published against their ideological opponents and many times they turn out to be false accusations. Be careful to speak the truth in love.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Heating Pad Blues

This living statue phenomenon has spread all around the country as an easy way to raise money in tourist zones. Take a picture and please drop in a buck?

This will not become a "complaining about my health" blog. I promise. I bought our first heating pad in our marriage to help my sore back muscles heal and had to leave work because of the soreness. Much improved today.

I am studying this week a bit about the Apostle Paul and his statements about women. I Timothy has the most strident passage that links Eve as a more guilty conspirator in the fall. Its a passage that has always made me feel uncomfortable, as if I am hearing the echos of Saul the Rabbi, "Thank God you did not make me a woman".

It seems as if women are to carry this guilt all their lives in silence in the church and be second class citizens in their freedom in Christ.

Bible believing Christians have pretty much ended up in two camps, currently called,
Complementarian, and Egalitarian. With the passing of time and the maturing of feminism in our generation the role of women has certainly changed in politics and education and in business with many successful CEOs, teachers and public servants.

In my former denomination it was always touchy when the wife of a missionary was asked to speak at our assembly, or some famous wife of a leader who had become an author like Catherine Marshall, or Edith Scheaffer , or even Joni Erickson. We would always have some young zealot publically marching out of the room to show their support for Paul's command that women should be silent and not teach men.

Turns out it was not really a command, and the word for silence is quietness, used earlier by Paul in his prayer for a quiet and peaceful life, which obviously is not a life of not speaking but a life of serenity and peace. Most probably Paul had some issues of loud women supporting the theological insurrection that was taking place in Ephesus and about which Paul was mentoring Timothy to "man up" in dealing with.

Anyhow, I am slowly reexamining the issues and moving a bit more toward Egalitarianism, and please manly men who never help around the house....don't hate me for it.