Hawaii 2010

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Stamped by War and Freedom

A large group of friends paid respect to Andrew V. today at his burial service. Born in Hungary, he suffered much as a youth during the war, came to America and served with distinction in the Korean conflict.

With citizenship came education and opportunity. The chemical treatment of leather, of all odd things, brought him money, leadership, his own product and company and a life of financial success, travel, family, and fulfilment in two good marriages.

We played Strauss "The Blue Danube Waltz" during an interval.He loved classical music and spent time in Austria during his service. I am drawn into a man's life and love and passion at the end, when shock and loss fill the hearts of those left behind.

My words, spoken so many times, represent hope of the unknown beyond the grave. It always drains me to play this role,spiritually and emotionally, but I do it, and I experience my own revival of hope.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Old New Friend

Randy T and I have participated on an Irish Whistle and Praise Music Blog group for a number of years and met face to face today for the first time. I gave him some Irish whistles to add to those given by other members which will be used as gifts to Christian leaders in Malawi, Africa where he will head with a group to do pastor/leader training for two weeks.

His church, where he serves as counseling pastor, has been growing at a 30% rate for years and recently added over 1000 new members. They made a change from an attractional model to a missional model and God is doing some great things there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A late convert to Gospel Music

I came of age with contemporary Christian Music artists like Wayne Watson and Amy Grant, and it was much later that I was introduced to the vast crew of singers touring with the Gaithers. I must tell you that the quality of music and artistry at a Gaither concert matches anyone, anywhere for skill, talent and presentation. These people present such different styles.

My sweet friend Elsa who is now with the Lord dragged me around a Coliseum floor till she could get a hug from Jessy Dixon, who died yesterday. One thing I do know, the Gaithers will honor him by making his many performances available to his fans.

I was amazed to see how broadly he performed and his crossover work with Earth, Wind and Fire and Paul Simon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Movie Night

Our Texas Sage is blooming, as it does several times a year, never watered, fast growing and can be shaped by trimming. We love them.

We watched "The Journey of Natty Gann" a Disney feature from 1985 set during the depression as a little girl hits the road to find her father. It was an honest picture of both good and bad people she encountered during her dangerous trip over rail, road and whatever vehicle she could hid in with her pet wolf. I enjoyed seeing it again.

Our nine foot screen and Phillips Sound System make it real enjoyable for a room the size of our Bible Study room.

I am reminded of earlier generations of Christian who were warned of the evil influence of movies. I grant that one needs to be selective, but their are so many great stories in the cinema that my life has been blessed and benefited by Movies of all types.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Never ready to say Goodbye

I met with a widow today to plan her husbands memorial, she has now buried two husbands. She believed her husband would live many more years because he was in perfect health, very active, and took no medicines for ailments. Until cancer.

I am always reminded that lovers are never ready to be parted, and sharing the fresh grief tears at my own heart every time I see it.

Locked Out

My WWAM decided to not work yesterday, kept getting a message telling me my Simm was. not inserted. What is a Simm?

The PGA Tour season is finished with total post Tiger equity,25 different winners in the 30 tournaments and a good but not outstanding golfer walking away with 11 million dollars for winning the last tournament. Now that's a paycheck!!!

I have been fortunate to live through many cycles of great golfers, I watched the prime Nicklaus years shift to the Watson Years, and slowing evolve to the Tiger years which have spawned a new breed of strong, long knockers. Fun to follow.

My own golf game is becoming a biblical truth, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I cannot seem to make my body swing the way I know I can swing, and it becomes pretty frustrating at times.....not enough to quit trying though.

On the health front I have really had such great blood sugar control with my current diet and exercise program. Sometimes the meds get to strong and send me into the low sugar zone, may have to begin adjusting. Life is good.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall is our Spring, sort of?

Dear Vernal Equinox, thanks for sending us a 108 degree first day of fall! We hope you can do better real soon because it has been hot as 7734 around here. For those readers not living in the desert, our fall is like having two springs a year. People come out of hiding in their AC houses.

I took some pictures today around the Rec Center. Literally thousands of people playing and watching Pee Wee football, working out on outdoor sports, you name it, its really popping around this place on Saturday.

Works well with my message on life, real life, life from God, Zoe life. Our world, our bodies, our memories, our experiences are all tied up with God's desire to know and enjoy us forever. To our age enduring benefit.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun with Garters

The informal pictures from a wedding are as lovely to me as the professional ones. I follow a very gifted wedding photographer named Jasmine Star. Google her site and see how creative wedding photography has become in the digital era.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Joy of Repeating a Picture

I actually have one more of Shannon much younger. I got to idea to repeat this shot at each visit and record their growth. Will be adding another soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A wayward child?

That little kid is me, looking independent and a bit mischievous. I believe our traits show up when we are very young. I have been spending the evening looking at pictures on my storage drive. They are stored so randomly that they jump all over the decades, places we lived, homes we dwelt in, vacations we took.

Today I sat with a gentleman in his 90s getting ready to leave, and he was a peace. Life is a wonderful gift. So is faith and hope and love, and I have been able to experience a lot of it over the years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Digitized A Precious Memory

Today I was defraging the office computer in the absence of my office assistant and took the time to digitize the 32 wedding photos in our memory book. When we were married all this technology did not exit, so how cool are the new color digitizers for photos.

As the years pass these pictures contain more memories of those no longer with us. I am still stunned that two of my four groomsmen and been gone for decades. Of course our parents and many of the elderly church members who came to honor their special young girl are gone as well, as is Pastor Schnieder who meant so much to us.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sex Jokes

I am pretty sure this is the plant that almost blinded a famous pastor last year. Got to be careful about what gets in your eyes. Especially really bad TV.

Really crude and in poor taste and twisted and valueless sex jokes. That's what I am seeing in the beginning of another desperate season of senseless and mindless entertainment.

There are great exceptions always, but you can really see the emptiness of what Hollywood is calling comedy these days, and I am a pretty lose judge with a fairly wide tolerance, but what I am seeing is just sad and misguided.

Sometimes it seems like we are caught in a tsunami of cultural change that no one can seem to stop or even slow down. We are swept along in a cesspool of poor sex jokes.

I am spending more time in the study and that's a joy. I am not being a prude, and glad there are some great movies I enjoy watching, and I always hope for another engrossing and fulfilling series with great characters and great conflicts and challenges.

And there are always books to read.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Letters to Juliet

I watched Letters to Julia tonight. Its a romance and a story about love. Beautiful music, scenery in and around Italy, good acting. I am really a fan of young Amanda Sayfried from MaMa Mia and Dear John. Her innocence and sincerity really play well on screen. The connection to Romeo and Juliet, Italy, love rediscovered, were very touching.

I was saddened to see Amanda sharing her joy of working with sensitive and talented director Gary Winik only to find he died early this year of a brain tumor.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meditation is a verb

When I am vacationing with my camera, I stop to take lots of flower pictures. Sometimes one really works. This is an example of one whose composition and bokeh.....blurring of the background really bring out the beauty, color and miracle of flowering trees.

I am parking in IIPeter 1 for a while, asking all kinds of questions about the greek concept called Zoe. Life.

Peter the mature overseer of the young called out followers of Jesus has identified his product and is sharing how to see this Zoe grow in us for being equipped fully to bear fruit toward God.

The infusion of life will not happen without effort, and yet most Christians get nervous when you talk about effort. Hey, aren't we save by grace not works? This is about the effort to participate, to add qualities of godliness. It takes effort.

I am wondering if many Christians have given very little effort to experience this Zoe life that Peter prized so highly. There lives are barren, not full. I want to make sure I am not barren of the life of God.

Meditation reads and rereads and forms questions and seeks answers from the spirit about the meaning of a rich text like this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Music for Mercy

Mercy A is a very special friend. She lives way over on the East Coast, and today we met at Sky Harbor, exactly where we met six years ago on the way to a conference.

She was here to visit her family and celebrate the double wedding of her two siblings.

I followed her six month mission trip to Kenya on her blog called Ordinary Daisy. One day she mentioned that She was led of the Lord to give her guitar to a leader over there. And I knew instantly that my second guitar was meant to replace hers.

Today we met and visited and she took possession of the Yamaha 12 string. She plays and sings with such spirit and I know it will be used in many small groups and her church to praise the Lord. It felt real good. God bless you Mercy.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What a day

Timed self portrait with camera sitting crooked on a towel.

8 am
Office work
Visiting with a leader
Teaching a Bible Study on Matthew at Ocotillo Village
Lunch while watching golf
1 pm
Repair man replaced cracked front windshield of car at my home
Picked up new pair of glasses across town
Picked up a guitar on loan to give to a friend tomorrow
Picked up dinner so we did not have to cook
Watched Big Bang Theory about hilarious nerd scientists.
8:15 pm
Thought about what to share on the blog.
A full and busy day

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Fall Vacation

December of 2009 was my last Disney visit, ready for another assault on the property.

Our Daughter and her husband have asked for some vacation time, and we will care for the kids for five days in October, and, rather than sit around the house during Laura's fall break, we are going to Disney Land.

While the grands are young we want to make more memories in the magic Kingdom. We went in the fall several years ago and it was nice.

I am still saddened by my friends death this week. No one is ready to leave early, we have things we want to see and do, further goals. I know his faith was solid and things will go as they should, but I still hurt for his wife and kids and the retirement years missed. Like I told Laura, I am not postponing anything that is doable these days. Life is too short and fragile.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy and Sad Day

Bill Shanks was a fine man who made much of his life and career. We played basketball together in High School, taken by a heart attack at 61. Harvard grad, Emory Law School a 35 year career with one firm, a passion for local thearte and the arts. We had a great time renewing our friendship on the golf course and at our 40th reunion. Not an ounce of fat on his body, no figuring this heart issue.

Another friend from college shared her wedding picture with my beautiful wife second from the right. Good memory at Peachtree Presbyterian in Atlanta.

Had a group watch Spencer's Mountain at church tonight, what a special movie about family, hopes, dreams and hard work.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kitchen decoration project

Here is our decoration of empty wall space. It has our wine rack, a collectable buffet from Laura's mom, and four new prints from Walter Anderson. He was an eccentric painter in Ocean Springs who painted birthday water colors for every day of the year. We have ours and the two grandkids. We love the way it looks. One more wall to hang decorative mirrors and a ceiling fixture to go.

Having a functional and comfortable kitchen has really made this house our own.

The Ironwood/Hendricks Pool

I live in a Senior Active Community that in some places and times is not very active. The time is summer, from noon to three, and the place is a pristene pool that we seem to enjoy all by ourselves everytime the kids come to visit. There are some child friendly pools open all day that get alot of activity, but we kind of enjoy this privacy.

The view of the Ironwood Golf course is very nice too.

Most shocking fact I learned from the 9/11 Memorial was the sound of downed firefighters beepers filling the quiet sunrise the day after the towers fell. Sounds everwhere but no bodies to be found. Seeing the crushed floors packed and heated together into molten steel and metal.

Happiest think I saw. People grieving the loss of loving spouses and finding new love and life years later.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11

Watching the news in shock, arriving late at Church and finding 15 or 20 people desiring to enter the church to pray. The unbelievable massive collapse of both structures, the hope for survivors, the feelings of outrage, the human stories of survival and loss.

I am remembering and praying.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frito's and me, a history

For my friend Earle, John Wayne brings happy memories of youth, and his room is a western delight.

I just ate some lower salt Frito's. Lower is a relative term when you are speaking of American snacks and processed foods. Usually enough to choke a fish.

These days I eat mostly whole foods, things in their most natural state and most unprocessed. It is impossible to bat 1000% in this eating game. Mark Sisson of Primal Blueprint shoots for better than 80% whole and natural foods. Laura begged, I bought, and they taste good and remind me of a wonder year.

When I moved South I was placed in a laboratory school on a college campus. They used it to give their elementary majors practice, and the teachers were teachers of both us and the student teachers, all very inspiring, inspite of the presence of bully Robert Earl Strickland and the kids from the Baptist Children's Village, who were early versions of terrorists, I had a good year and a half finishing fifth and six grade there. I rode my bike most days, and going home I went into the college lounge and bought a soda and Fritos, the soda was 10 and the fritos 25 cents, and to this day a Frito reminds me of carefree youth.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Night of Great Music

One of my favs from our Road to Hanna drive last summer. This is the spot were a group of youth were struck by a Tsunami in the 50s.

We enjoyed the inaugural Chandler Symphony Pops concert tonight and it was young Ben's first experience with an orchestra. Plenty of recognizable Souza Marches, and some movie themes from Sound of Music and E.T. It was fun. This is a very talented group of people who play just for the love of music. The new Chandler Center for the arts is very nicely updated at well.

We are having a nice rare rain this evening. I got soaked on a Milk run for the kids special waffle breakfast when they are here.

Music is one of the greatest gifts we give to each other and the world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A decade of struggle remembered

These are the gate posts of the Jurrasic Park sign in the original film in the center of Kauai. 2001 just three months before the attacks.

National Geographic has some powerful documentaries of the 9/11/2001 disaster. It is definitely is the most photographed event in human history and the images evoke the same shock and pain and disbelief when I watched one today.

Is the religious determination of the terrorists unstoppable? Are we doomed to be dealing with this until the end of human history? Is their hope for coexistence between the worlds religions.? I think about these things.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Kindle with Android tablet functions

I am helping a friend plan a trip to Kauai, brings back memories to talk about. This is Ke'e Beach at the north end of the road, this last trip the sand was so hot it was dangerous to walk on. The water was very nice that day.

After the tremendous success Amazon has had with the ink type text on the reader, it appears they are taking aim at the success of the Nook, and the Ipad with a multifunctional tablet type reader and web browser, for half the price of most tablets.

I am still thrilled with the ease of use, portability, readability and constant temptation to add books that I get with the Kindle II. As a real multitasker I can sit down to read and jump around to two or three books a session. I am working my way through Mark Twains travel book, which is very interesting to see how modern the world was before electricity, when boats and trains carried people all over the world.

I learned quickly to keep my subjects on hidden pages so I face the same one page interface with just a Bible and dictionary, from there I jump to my genre and then each book. Fun and rewarding way to read.

I am however, going to be pretty tempted by color and browsing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remembering Inez O.

The wealth of knowledge and experience in our most senior citizens is a wonder to learn from. Inez was a school teacher for many decades, she had an active marriage, interesting hobbies, and was one excellent conversationalist. I heard today that she passed away Sunday evening, as she lives on the other side of town now.

Her friend remembers her telling of rolling a 286 in her 70s at the bowling alley.
I remember her pies, and her collection of painted ceramic cardinals. She was also one of the charter members of our church. Spending many happy active years in our local set of apartments. Everywhere she went she spread love and blessing.

Our study room has a beautiful organ, almost new, her last hobby taken up in her late 80s. What a lovely woman.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I love walking on a beach, anywhere, anyplace.

The New Revised Standard Version actually uses the word recompense in their translation. It is a pet idea of mine, related to the recent conviction that this present world will be renewed at the reconciliation of all things.

It's just a simple idea that as justice is due to those who harm and take life, so recompense is due to those victimized by injustice and violence.

It's a loving payback for time lost on earth. It's just an idea I like to think about when I think about 9/11/2001.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"I am not without skills"

That's one of my favorite lines from Six Days Seven Night with Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. Today I assembled a new ceiling fan in our study. Our Hunter died prematurely after just a couple of years, so we found a nice replacement at Lowes.

I am amazed that it has been ten years since the terrorist attacks. I am paralysed by too many disasters this past decade. 9/11, The Tsunami, Katrina, The war on Terror, the collapse of the economy. Thankful for faith that sustains.

My friends wife bought a brand new Kia Soul this weekend. Very cute car, and I share the enthusiasm for the quality and durability of the brand.

Our next skills required project is hanging four 13 pound mirrors in our Kitchen that must line up perfectly and hang on monkey hooks that can support that weight.

Enjoy your Labor Day break.

Why I love Koine Greek

I have not always loved Koine Greek, at first it was like math, something that I just was not able to grasp. Advanced math was the beginning of me being a B and C student instead on an A student. I just could not grasp the concepts then I got behind and it snowballed.

After I got my degree as a not A student, I began to actually understand why God used Koine, which meant common street language Greek. First, it has spread through the known world and everyone could understand it.

For us, it is the precision of the language. Word meanings are precise not fuzzy. There is a word for physical life, and a word for working life, but there is a very special word for the "God kind of life", that word is ZOE. Its a deep and wide river and I am excited to use the word as a theme for teaching this fall. Its a word that starts like a mustard seed and becomes a tree, its a word that becomes a river flowing out of the deepest part of you. It is a word that takes you from really living in this world to really living in the next.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Fool says in his heart......

there is no God. And therefore does a lot of foolish things that bring problems into his or her life.

The going along with the crowd mentality is often foolish. God did not just decide that I would have the disease called diabetes in the year 2000, I earned it by 30 years of foolish eating. Did I mention all you can eat Pizza joints?!!!

God did not decide that our generation would be the most obese ever created. We decided that by listening and following the SAD...Standard American Diet, and we are all reaping the whirlwind. Life is supposed to have choices, and wisdom is to guide those choices, and reaping and sowing is necessarily a part of that equation.

God forgives and is gracious, but we often say, though we are forgiven we sometimes suffer from the consequence of our choices.

I am currently enjoying preaching thematic series. Not so much through a book, but exploring a subject through the scripture. My next series is about Zoe. Life. The theme verse is in Peter. God has given us everything we need in the things which pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ (my own memory, not the exact quote) I love the greek word for life, zoe, and cannot wait to see what comes out of exploring that word through the gospels and letters.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Something old and cherished

This beautiful glass lemon squeezer belonged to Laura's mom and it reminds me of her and times when things were made with weight. Been squeezing lots of lemons for my health drink.

I took my first ph tests today on saliva and urine. The health issue is that you are not supposed to be too acidic or too alkaline for optimal function of the systems of your body. It's not quackery so don't bug me about it.

Anyhow, I am right in the perfect 6.5 zone for both, which has to do with two years plus of real hard exercise and many many months of eating whole foods and ridding myself of over processed wheat and empty sugar calories. Still trying to eat to satisfaction and still get the scale and inches around the waist going down. I am also experiencing excellent control of blood sugar readings.

The deepest joy is that I feel so good eating healthy real food. Sugar cravings are gone for the most part, and I can enjoy a special treat or meal without falling off a wagon it used to take weeks to get back on. I am also eager to try vegetables outside the common range. The developer of RBTI wrote a pamplet using a King James quote from Proverbs that I have not been able to check for context, but the title is pretty cool. "The curse shall not causeless come". His is making the point that disease has causes that can be observed, and many times corrected with proper nutrition.

This has always been true, even in our day of pill popping for everything. The stupid commercial of the guy popping antacids after every meal tells me he should really be trying to discover what is causing the heartburn and stop eating it when or how it affects him. I'll stop before you think I am becoming an obsessive health nut... or is it already too late????

Yeah September!!

I derive pleasure from viewing the Superstition Mountains.

We are close to being released from the purgatory called Summer in Arizona. Except I don't believe in purgatory, so I could say the Hell called summer but most people believe that hell lasts forever and an Arizona summer turns to a glorious fall and winter in which we shirtsleeve it while you guys around the four corners of the country, Florida excepted, start raking leaves and wearing sweaters and then, when your hell freezes over, digging through snow and ice. OO blah da oo blah dee life goes on.

Just a few weeks away.

Odds and Ends on Thursday. I am typing on one of the light Logitech remote keyboards and mouse, so I am so new fangled I don't have to hold the hot laptop actually on my lap. Should I call it my table top????