Hawaii 2010

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Death comes for us all

Farewell Elston D., a fine man who live 92 years, endured the problems of a major stroke, but left behind a legacy to his friends and family. He was a mason, a computer user who helped many organizations keep their books, a good husband to his first and second wives, and a great Representative of the greatest generation who served in the military and as an insurance provider for his community.

A postscript to the Crystal Springs incident, there was a rally and prayer walk downtown to show this couple that the majority of the community have grown beyond the racism that created the news event over the weekend.

A grand daughter did this wonderful tribute showing him aging through the cycles of his life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rainy Days and Sundays always on my mind

The beach at Hanalae is usually crowded in the summer, but that day we felt alone in one of the most idlyic spots in the world, I cherish that moment.

We had a shower here in the desert that lasted an hour, in the late afternoon, one of my favorite times of the week, as Laura prepares for a new week in school, as our empty nest fits us like a glove.  The cat comes out on the porch because we know the rain is more effective than an electric fence and he watches the rain with wonder in his cat eyes.

I notice now in the blogging world where I go to hear other people ideas that the blogs are so snazzy and everyone has a row of connections to reach them along the top of their page and I am reminded that life has passed me by in the speed lane, and I am just going fast enough for facebook but will never speed up to twitter and never post videos on my blog or visit those places with the cool sayings with beautiful backgrounds.  I would rather read a book. And thats OK.

I am reading a book that was left on the magazine table at our now defunct recycle center outside the office. It was one of Oprahs favs and a huge bestseller in the spiritual new age market. I figured finding four brand new books out there was a sign. One of them was President Obamas biography and I just left it on the table, the other three are on my desk. One of the ideas in the book is about finding space between the stream of thoughts that are always rushing through your mind, that place of presence is the real you, where you can sense peace and hope even when hardship and hurt and pain enter your mind from the wounds of the past or the fears of the future. You can experience peace in the now.   This has always been one of my personal interests, fully living in the present. So, here I go to start another week. But that week I prepare for will still only be lived, moment by moment.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Salads are wonderful

Laura has an August Birthday coming up. This is one of my favorites from a past trip to Kauai on the path from our resort to the beach at the Hayatt Regency.

Except for the 2 pills a day and some numbness in the pads of my feet, my dozen year experience with type II diabetes has been tolerable. Today I ate very clean, (a term that means no unhealthy foods) and as I was preparing our salad supper, I felt the presence of low blood sugar, tested at 77, and had some crackers and OJ to counter it. The plaquing of my arteries is another and less happy story related to diabetes.

I buy organic greens from Sprouts, (please don't make veggies too costly as the drought toll comes in), I like spinach and spring mix, and today here is the list of things I added. Tomatoes, Carrots, broccoli florets, golden raisins, strawberries, sunflower seeds, that Greek cheese crumbles I keep forgetting the name of, and a dose of real fat dressing. Have you noticed how fat we have gotten on low fat eating.  Healthy fats are our friends. They deal with hunger and feed the brain.

Is was so tasty and the textures and sweet bits bursting with flavor. As  we finished Laura noted that I had left out some cucumber, red onion, and a fresh avocado that I totally forgot as I was raiding the fridge for ingredients. There is always tomorrow. And yes, Laura prepared a delicious tuna salad for lunch in our shared weekend responsibilities. Patriarchs out there, put that on your plate and eat it, and get up and learn to cook and prepare good foods, its a fun way to love and serve your wife and family.

Crystal Springs in the news

I love lakes and rivers and springs, especially when I am playing golf next to them.

I used to wander about the names of the places I ended up living, or the names of churches I served. They all seemed to have two names or have a reference to water or things associated with water.

Crystal Springs, Mississippi, my first community, had 10 thousand souls, all the churches were segregated in the mid 70s. Apparently this weekend, First Baptist had some negroes worshipping with the congregation for the past year who asked for the pastor to perform their wedding in the sanctuary. I would assume the pastor had permission, but when someone drove by during the rehearsal, they called their friends and pressured the deacons to stop the ceremony the next day, the pastor feared trouble and gave in and moved the wedding,  as no blacks had ever been married their before. The couple felt discriminated against and the news trucks have descended. The Mississippi Baptist leader said this was a step in the wrong direction. I agree.

Moss Point, being a point in a lake or river, just became a majority black community when I moved their in the early 80s, the first black mayor was elected and things were changing. We worked to make the transitions and invited my son's black friends to Vacation Bible School. A small step forward. The church is still segregated....and is dying.

Desert Springs church in Tucson, lots of desert, no springs.

Queen Creek AZ no queens, no creek.

Sun Lakes AZ, lots of sun, lots of lakes.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Hey Jude Olympic Ceremony

I came of age with the British Invasion of the Beatles and Paul McCartney still rocks the house. It was an interesting extravaganza of movement and music and a picture of our cultures rise and fall.  The hymns at the beginning when in a simpler time trust in God and hunger for spiritual things kept the center together, all the way to a celebration of childhood stories to the cacophony of modern music and the internet. I liked it.

These international sporting traditions beyond all the expensive electronics and fireworks really do celebrate the human spirit of achievement and discipline of the body and mind, and the diversity which we really do need to get an understanding of.in America and in the western church. The new Jerusalem will not look like a homogenized gathering.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Overheated again

Could not finish a morning round of golf. Light headed, pulse racing. I am no longer physically able to handle the humidity.

Been researching responses to Scott McKnights post on Christian Reconstructionism and where it has popped up in recent decades in the Dominion Movement in the Charismatic Church, in the HomeSchooling and Quiverfull and Biblical Patriachy movements, and in young earth creationism and the Constitutional party. Interesting to dip back into the fruits of Rushdoonys Institutes of Biblical Law again.  It is no longer the family I run with these days.

Is is not that I believe laws are wrong, they are good and especially for restraining evil, but the enforcement of Christian or Jewish commandments is pretty much like the Muslims vision for enforcing Sharia, they both have the same root. Jesus was about transformation not physical enforcement.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Chick Fil -a Incident

This is my favorite picture of me and two friends from the early 70s. I was and am a lover not a fighter.

I was reading a favorite Christian blog this morning when a word was used that transported me back to the early 70s in Seminary. The word was Reconstructionism and the name was Rousos J. Rushdoony. I survived the first introduction of Christian Reconstruction Theology in the south. It arose when a disciple of Rushdoony was given a teaching position at my seminary and we began to see how your ideas about the Bible affect the way you prepare for and do ministry in this world.

Greg Bahnsen and Rushdoony were part of my life back then as we were introduced to an eschatology of post millenialism and the law as normative for all of culture. This movement believed the gospel would convert the world and we would all live under the ten commandments like the Israelites, so we should begin to enforce law keeping in culture whether or not people are followers of Christ.  Its a huge subject with many twists and turns, and eventually Bahnsen was asked to leave the school and we redefined the mission of the church in the world was not to enforce cultural norms but to introduce the world to Christ and let Him transform us from within.

I have never developed a habit of eating at Chick File or however you spell it.It seems misguided that I am being asked to eat there to save America???? I am OK that the restaurant gives people Sunday off, but I think sabbath observance was an old covenant restriction on the Jewish people, and when we tried to transplant it to the Christian Sunday the confusion between law and gospel began. It is possible to win a culture war and lose the quest to  be Christ to a desperate world by dividing us from them and trying to "take back America". Looks like I am going to have to brush up on the brush up that almost destroyed my seminary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More mundane matters

I asked Laura to take my picture in front of the ocean and she aimed too high. No ocean, just the classic look at my "muscles" pose.

My daily photo and comment blog is approaching four years old. The email that opens it no longer exists but it is still my key to get in.   If any reader wants to write me a note my new email is donhendricks62@gmail. com.  I miss using email, it was killed by facebook. I used to have a list visible and would write folks a note from time to time. Guess I still could. Oh, and apparently facebook gave me a facebook email address, yippee?

A postscript story on Sun Lakes HOA #1 Recycle Center.  It closed after a three year run last week. When it was proposed there was a big kerfuffle by those of us close to the triple wide concrete block structure and its eight parking spaces of paper bins.  Over the years it also become a great place to find boxes for personal use, a magazine exchange, a place to give fruit away, a bug attracter to the suger left in aluminum cans, a wreck waiting to happen as people zoomed in and out, a place of employment for the guy carrying the cardboard to the recycle center payment place, and apparently a money maker for the homeowners association.

Anyhow, phase one now has home recycling which I think still makes money for the HOA, but is cleaner, easier, more convenient, cheaper to run. So like the other phases we put our own recycle on the street and can still carry the big stuff to a Sherrifs money maker on Riggs.  End of story.

People still dumped a good bit over the weekend despite the big sign and no boxs to recieve stuff.  Ah, human nature.now  we have our eight spaces back for Bible Studies, but we have basically a staff golf car parking garage outside our back door. Its mundane, I know, but this week I am all about mundane.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Best early morning thought from reading

In Palm Springs they turn this type of Palm Tree into a fashion statement and trip the dead fronds at the bottom like upside down crew cuts.

American and even the American church has an obsession with stardom, winners, super rich and beautiful people.  God is a God of the mundane everyday folks who get up and go to work and love their family and take out the garbage and do the chores. Amen to that.

Laura's day went well, our school routine begins, she is out the door at 6:45 home at 5, two more hours of grading and prep as we relax with an evening TV program. We are currently watching the Lost series again and I marvel at what an interesting and entertaining fantasy it is. Great action, great drama, great characters.

Happy Birthday Linda ,my dear Sister. Good health and happy days in Pensacola.

I visited a stroke victim yesterday in hospice. Over three years robbed of speech and communication, now preparing to die. He woke and looked me in the eye with recognition and we shook hands and had prayer. He has had a long life and seems so peaceful and prepared.

My impatience is showing.... I have a tire with a slow leak, and in my huge city there are no Gomer Pyle type stations eager to fix it, they just want to sell you new tires. I keep driving by places because all the tire places are packed with business and I just do not want to waste two hours fixing a leaking tire!!!! I am sure I will end up stranded somewhere and have to pull the tire myself if I don't do something. It's mundane, and it's life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Transition Day Thoughts

A house on a hill in Palm Springs CA, its for sale, interested, you can't afford it.

We are a team. I am a pastor. Laura is a teacher. Today she heads back to face a new group of young kids who need to read and write to survive and thrive in this world. Some know they need to, some do not. It's a challenge. As it is still July it makes me long a bit for the days of my own youth when you left school at the end of May and started the beginning of September.  Those three months played a significant part in my own development, but someone decided the brain empties out with that much time off. I guess????

Laura said it is difficult to start over again with new kids to learn, new parents to know, new expectations from some non teacher who just got a doctorate somewhere who wants to implement some new idea to save education. The governments old mantra "no child left behind" is now replaced with "common core" and it all dumbs kids down to keep the herd in the fence, in my opinion.

Sometimes I have seniors who have lost spouses and are in new relationships talk to me about the adjustments of learning a new person when your own past and persona and more or less settled. We think we can easily change and adapt or we are sure the other person should adapt to what we know is the right thing.  Not so easy. I love it when I see people who are no longer lonely, and can celebrate the new friends past and find a way to enjoy being together without radically trying to reconstruct the other person.

The church year in Sun Lakes does not begin this week, and frankly, I need August to begin to fill my heart with fresh thoughts and to build on last years explorations of true truth, as Francis Sheaffer liked to call it, and to let temporary or delusional truths go.

This is week 2 of my whole foods, mostly fruits and vegetables and real food way of life. No calorie counting or food weighing or obsessive restriction, just eat real food and listen to your body trying to give you signals about proteins, carbs, fats. When you have given your body real food, that has taste and texture, you fall out of desire for a Dunkin Donut or a large fry.  Well, I am not quite there on the French fries?
Have a great week friends, life is precious.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

One trys to connect the dots

In preaching to people living life that sometimes makes little sense the preacher speaks to the issues of violence and to judgment and to mercy, and one clings to hope that our experiences on this earth have meaning and purpose. The message permeates the word.

Back to daily life. This past week I have become more of a consistent whole foods vegetable based eater than ever in my life. I even did a veggie smoothie with carrots and spinach. In every way this diet of fruits, salads, small portions of protein and almost no processed bread or foods is sustainable. I feel full, energized, and am hoping to lose the belly fat that clings to my middle with such tenacity.

My lovely wife heads back to teach another group of  "chillen" how to read and write tomorrow. It is a stressful and hard job that takes many hours of homework. She loves teaching but the constant bureaucratic meddling with the classroom process is frustrating.

Wonderful music today.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The taking of innocent lives

These incidents defy logic, reason, and explanation as a human being becomes twisted and destructive. It makes no sense, and underscores in another way the crisis we are facing in these days here and everywhere.

I have been trying to understand why the prophet Micah kept injecting hope for a better future into his message of judgment. I think it is because each crisis contains the possibility of learning and finding better outcomes for the future.  it does not help the immediate victims but speaks to the future and our ability to recover from tragedies.

It allows me to make a small comment on one of my favorite spiritual concepts. Recompense. This word represents for me a promise I see hidden throughout scripture as one of the fruits of ultimate reconciliation....that being the restoration and recompense of the masses of victims of violence, war, and evil deeds. Do not know how or when or where with specificity, but I see the theme and place it firmly in my own personal hope chest.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Some thoughts on the Internet

A grotey bunch of college guys from Robertson Dorm in 1971 during my long hair days.

Its a firm part of my life, though I visit people daily from that generation that does not use it. For me, the instantaneous connection with news and events make the world a smaller place. Facebook is OK but not the deal maker for me. People love to fight political battles too much, and post one line truths on beautiful backgrounds. I do like to see what people are up to.

For me the real draw is the thing that convinces me every day that I am only normally intelligent. It's the interaction with the ideas and thoughts of others, on so many accessible subjects from world affairs, to health and fitness, to theology. I am surrounded by smart and insightful people who are sharing viewpoints for free on immensely important issues, and are part of a give and take that leads to personal knowledge and the development of your own life and thought.  In other words, I learn, I grow, I change with the knowledge I find from thousands of sources.  That is my favorite part of the internet world. I can live without any more knowledge of Tom Cruise, or celebrity drama. But people who know and study and share life in a real conversation stimulates every morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Changes celebrated

I am approaching several landmarks that are reasons for deep thanksgiving and reflection this week, both spiritually and physically.  In a few weeks I will mark four years of blogging which is amazing to me given my tendency to start things and then stop. Its not that big a deal, but its a commitment to sharing my life, opening up a bit, practicing a life observed thoughtfully.

Next month will mark three years at Tumbleweed Gym.  I have always been active and tried different ways to exercise, but this three years has had me doing serious walking, stretching, and lifting three to four times a week religiously. I have a different body composition, still not slender, but I have core strength and an overall feeling of physical well being that has made the quality of life much better.

Thirdly, I have made a permanent shift in my thinking and sharing about God who spoke in Jesus being truly good, and his love for sinners being truly unconditional. It has changed me more into His true image deep within my spirit.  Good reasons to celebrate personally.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An enjoyable part of my life

We had a terrific meal at the Nicklaus grill in La Quinta CA last month.

I enjoy preparing meals! There....I said it. It's not really cooking but preparing, ie. fixing the salad, grilling the chicken or fish.  I do consult cookbooks and we do have some things we prepare but we have really evolved into a very simple diners, a salad, a steamed vegetable some protein source.

I am hoping I get to where I do some things out of my favorite cookbooks. One of my favorite cookbooks is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, which reads like a nutrition manual and is the favorite of Weston Price Assoc. followers.  We like the Weight Watchers and the Cook this not That series as well. I enjoy helping Laura whose work in really hard and time intensive when I can.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Golfers who love Jesus the Lord

Golf is a test of character that I fail in many ways when I tee it up.

Way back in the late 60s Kermit Zarley and others started the Tour Bible Study which is held the Wednesday evening prior to the beginning of each Tournament.  Sometimes the Golfers speak, sometimes guest pastors and speakers. I am told it is low key and the names of attenders and visitors are kept quiet. It is not a media event, but a group of professionals who believe faith and their careers are intertwined. They have cute kids and supportive wives as well.

When they win, and this has been quite a year for Christian winning tournaments, they give a shout of praise to God as witnesses which is heard by the large audience of golf fans, and endured without comment by the announcers who are interviewing them.   It was Zack Johnsons turn again last Sunday, and this year we have seen Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Ricky Fowler and others have shown that these Christians can play, and that they trust and honor God for the talents they use effectively.

I have known other Christian golfers who struggled and won very little, one in particular who in his mid 50s had to confess that though God had given him a goodt life, a good wife and loving family, the Golf had been a bitch goddess that had left him dumped in a pile of broken dreams, struggling to find a way to support his family outside the sport. In other words, like all professional sports, only a few hit it big for a long time.

I guess my point is that we should love God and follow him whether money and fame come our way or not, and that not many famous folks who live for money and fame really get the witness of these believers because they have already given their heart to the lesser God. We still gotta testify, and I am good with that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friends from the 80s

Michalle and JF during an annual reformation evening celebration, which was our Halloween substitute.

Going to visit Michale and her family next month.

Can this rift be healed?

There is an issue in interpreting the Bible that just won't go away. It has spawned two families of believers and while we can fellowship around Christ, sooner or later this way of  looking at things causes issues.

The issue is the idea of "two separate destinies", "two people of God', Kingdom of Heaven, Kingdom of God, The grandfather of this teaching is a system of understanding that is called dispensationalism, and its opposing viewpoint would be covenantalism.   Does Israel have an ongoing identity and a salvation under law, was Peter's gospel in opposition to Paul's Gospel. Are Christian's God's heavenly people and Jew's Gods earthly people who must have a future earthly rule from Jerusalem.

One group tends to see a violent and cataclysmic ending to world history, while the other opens the door for some gradual change for the better in human development. You generally stick close to that group that helped you get your original understanding of the gospel. I have friends and teachers I respect on both sides and while I have made my decision on the issue I remain open to being taught and perhaps convinced of some of the particulars. I am not dogmatic but I know the rift is real. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shannon and Charlotte

Violin and voice, was delightful, including them performing twice so I could get it on video.

A Duet


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cool Stuff

 As we drink coffee on the back porch and listen to gentle thunder in the distance. We get so few steady rains that this is so delightful.  It is now qualifying as a downpour.

First, for walkers, and joggers, I have two of three problems solved with this product, first, bad sound quality in cheap headphones,  second,  the in ear phones tend to fall out, third, I wash them, step on them, lose them etc. I just sent a 30 dollar pair through the wash in my shorts and they have very little sound.
An internet search came up with the Koss clip on. Truly comfortable, truly great sound quality, and just 15 dollars on Amazon. I bought two because no one can help me with problem #3. You just kind of screw them on and off your ear and you are really hearing some great sound.

We stopped at Safeway for some creamer and Laura picked up a bag of Popcorn, Indian Theater popcorn and wow, melt in your mouth good. Apparently there is a city in Indiana named Popcorn and this product is way better than most of the popcorn already popped in a bag I have tried.

Our power has been out for 30 minutes?

Gilbert Days

The last third of my life has been lived in the west. Last night we ate in downtown Gilbert, less than a mile from our first home for our traditional free meal for birthdays at Joe's Real B-B-Q. Another celebration meal?!!!

Gilbert was one of the many small towns that sprang up around a train stop, where produce, sheep, cattle, cotton, and other early crops in a younger Arizona were taken to market. The original downtown which has been preserved was built in the 20s. 

When we moved here the last week of 1989 Gilbert had exploded in growth but was still less than 20,000 people, and now is well over 10 times that populated and all the cities in the East Valley have grown together.

The place we ate was first a garage, and for decades a theater for live plays, and now a lovely eating place packed with memorabilia of Gilbert's early days.

The old Market across the street is a trendy coffee shop. This is where my kids grew up, got educated, and this is were we struggled to find where we fit.

The rules were already changing in the church, new winds of change, and resistance to change was as real here as it was in the south. But we all change and are changed by place, and time, and life.

I am not sorry we came, it has been good, and....it's mostly a dry heat!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Streams in the Desert

Its raining outside as I share a cup of coffee with wife and kitty. Its a milepost day, as I mark 62 years alive on this earth. I am still loving life, thankful for was I have experienced and learned. Joyful that as the world has changed I have been able to keep up with the good parts and leave most of the less than good parts for younger folks to trip over.

It sound like I am saying live and let live, but I am not, its just that I realize that folks are going to go down good and bad paths and they will learn from them. There is a very big concept I keep running across in my studies that beats a path around this issue in life, this worldview. I can't explain it simply so I am not yet qualified to teach much about it.

The issue is dualism and non dualism. It's about believing that God lives and works and accomplishes His work in the world and is not defeated by, nor does He flee and avoid the gritty struggle of this world. Dualistic thinking divides people into good and bad like the pharisees. Jesus sees people where they are at and loves them. Way too simplistic but I am getting bits of it incorporated into my thought and life.

My vocation has caused my life to be divided into distinct periods, and my age has allowed me to see how they are related in the long journey. You get to a place where you occasionally touch the wisdom of God, but you have the humility not to claim it as your possession, you are just thankful to be near it and to be lifted by it.

I am loving those car commercials where the adult children are worried about their parents and trying to get them on Facebook so they can really live, all the while the parents are out in the new car actually living and doing things in nature and in the world while the kids stared as pictures of other peoples lives.

I am both of those types of young senior adult, hoping that the second type, the active type wins. I love this little blog and my stops on facebook to hear about friends and people from the past, but I want to live and love in the real world every day.  Thanks for the Birthday cards, Facebook notes. I will post some end of day reflections after I go out and live the day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Over heated

I needed one of these on the back nine yesterday.

Larry and I have had the golf course to ourselves mostly in the afternoons and it was fine, until the monsoon humidity hit. Yesterday I began to feel lightheaded and fuzzy. I learned that when your core gets overheated two strange things happen, your heart races trying to cool the system, but at the same time your blood pressure goes down, unable to speed up as the resources are being used elsewhere, hence, faintness, blackouts and worst case, heatstroke.  That's it for afternoon golf until the monsoon leaves. It took over three hours for my pulse to go back to normal.

I don't usually recommend other websites I follow because that's a personal thing, but I really enjoy Karen Spears Zacharias who blogs on Patheos. She is a transplanted southerner like me who tells stories about our culture and life and faith. Great one today on returning to a reunion of her high school Baptist Church traveling choir. Give her a read.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Struggle

See Don Golf, see Don's spare tire clinging around his midsection, see the Doctor tell Don to lose weight....again.

It's Birthday week and health and longetivity are in my mind. Yesterday I got my blood and urine analysis at the doctor. For a 62 year old diabetic it was just about perfect, every thing normal, cholesteral down, blood sugar under control. Then the reality, you've gained weight.

I saw a note to myself back in Feb where I made a recommitment and tracked food intake and yet here I am six months later up sx pounds.  Truth be told, I am continuing to suffer from the Celebration effect.  My life is so full of good times and celebration that my normal good diet gets sabatoged. Can I get an amen from the readers on that!!!!

This  means another full court press, I will let you know if anything works.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I fell getting on the tube to ride this, and we both strained out necks holding on the the gravity defying water ride. Act your age is sometimes good advice.

As I approach another birthday week and face a doctor's appointment this afternoon to look at the story my blood and urine are telling about my health, I reflected upon the role of sleep in the good health equation.

In recent years we have been more disciplined in getting more hours of sleep. I used to be hooked on the evening news and the monologue by Jay or David, now we hit the hay at 10. Last night everything ran late and I stayed up till midnight, and it is so apparent that losing an hour or two of sleep leaves you wanting in the morning, a price is being paid for the loss of 7-8.

To sleep, perchance to dream.   I love my dream life, it makes enough sense at the time that I enjoy trying to relate my dream to my waking life and see if my subconscious is fulfilling needs.  Last evening I was inventing something or saving something and I had Jewish investors who were giving to my Christian project.

I have mentioned my recent habit of going to bed with music playing in my ears, I can tell you that when I play my complete Enya collection, her songs trigger incredible dream states as well. I probably shared more than you care to know, but most of our life takes place in our own head, so....get plenty of sleep and have sweet dreams.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Feeding the poor, big time

This small camper gets 20 miles per gallon and can use regular parking spaces according to its owner. . I wouId enjoy traveling like that some day.

It has been several months since Larry and I took our lunches to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and today was an eyeopener. A huge truck was unloading tones of food from a St. Mary's Food Bank semi which I assume is shared among the minstries for transport.

Food donated from major stores being put to use to feed thousands of hungry people. The delivery man said this happens several times a week and I saw hope for dealing with our problems in the private sector.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

50 more years and lots more joy

I was comparing the entertainment lives of two people born on the same day and year, June 1, 1926, namely Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith. Hollywood kind of chewed Marilyn up and spit her out, while Andy had a long run of movie and tv and plays and concerts while keeping his faith and sanity.

The 50th anniversery of Monroes death is next month, wow did time fly. Of course Andy kept his small town church grown values and managed to keep them in the characters he played. And I just thank the Lord for those shows that he shared with us.

I loved the tender homage paid to Marilyn by the great song by Elton John, Candle in the Wind. She was made an idol and used by too many.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pollock Cinema

An upscale high tech security mailbox I saw in Palm Springs on a camera walk on morning.

It has been a while since we took advantage of Dollar Cinema. A local businessman has helped revive the one on our side of town by placing Hollywood memorabilia in the lobby. Lifesize statues of movie and famous folks all through this century of celluloid stardom. It is cute and has given life to a run down place.

We saw Mirror, Mirror, which was panned by critics but was lots of fun, a retelling of the fairytale with some modern updates and a focus on the seven dwarves role in saving Snow White. As the credits rolled at the end and unexpectedly strange song celebration began in Bollywood style, with a strong Indian beat and dance moves. I really liked the song and the rhythm and it confirms what an odd and quirky movie it was.

I have read comments about the proliferation of fantasy movies out there, and how that almost always happens when the real world becomes a difficult place to live.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Faith and Theology

Playing in the surf is an amazing thing we share, where the vast ocean touches land and the rhythm of the wave movement against the shore bring two different elements together.

Just started a book that made the point that faith is something experiential that we encountered and experienced about God in our life, and theology is reflecting upon that reality. Would it then be true that having a different theological approach to life might actually change the way we perceive faith?

So one raised with the concept of an Angry God cannot ever really experience a Loving God without rejecting his theology, or vice versa. Are we then really worshiping our own image and understanding of God  rather than the reality of who and what God truly is in His essential being?

Intriguing. My own experience is that when I change my thinking about God, my head and heart go into a reinterpretation mode that goes over all my previous thinking and paints a new picture that sets me free, or at least helps me toward freedom. When that happens I am not really eager to try to interact with someone who is stuck in another perception, but just trust that at some point the truth with be shown to both of us. Just thinking out loud at the start of a book.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Working on 237 years today.

We enjoyed a quiet fourth of July, which included for me a rare round of golf in the rain, which was wonderful. Then some great burgers on my new grill and the entertainment from the various venues around the country.

My friend Michele threw a big party for her Marine son and his friends and family and almost burned the barn down when fireworks ignited the hay. Glad its all OK

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Country Tis of Thee

Enjoy the day, the freedom, the memories, the hopes for the future!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Farewell Andy, we love you

Old Palm Springs remembers Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Doris Day, and others in that hayday of early entertainment.

 When I look at what passes for humor in today's situation comedies and think about the body of work of Andy Griffith, it makes me sad. There was a time when video first began being used in churches that someone developed a whole ethics curriculum with scenes from Andy of Mayberry.

For me, Andy represented a real Christian man, not talking it but doing it every day. Bumbling Barney so desired to be a hero and yet was wounded by his own body image and fears, so his swagger to compensate ought to have set him up for a big fall, but Andy knew this about his friend and constantly put up with his weaknesses because he knew Barney's heart.   It was situation comedy in its glory days when each show was truly a lesson in friendship, dealing with the loss of his wife, being a single father, caring and being cared for by Aunt Bee, and trying to get on with romance in an honorable way. I loved it, and it shaped me, and I will miss having Andy around.   Oh, and having to deal with "Church Ladies" around every corner!!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ending Nostalgia Time

Something about June makes me introspective and I know people can only tolerate so much of that. But part of the marvel about life is memory and most of my amazement about photography is that you can capture a moment in time and see it. We change and grow and shrink, but who a person was in a moment of time seems to create a holy thing. Take todays picture, it takes me back to those early years when all my preparation became reality, I was not only a pastor, but a husband and a father. I can literally feel the marvel of being a young family again when I ponder this picture. I am with the same women as she reads a book this morning and I see the women that baby became became and the daughter of my daughter upon whom I lavish the same love and affection. That is when nostalga is very good.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I was reminiscing today about my first Sunday as an ordained minister on July 4th, 1976. America was proud of that birthday and really celebrated.

I had no computer till 84.

Elvis was still alive.

I traded my 72 Gran Torino Ford for a  75Chevy Impala as befitting a preacher and soon to be family man.

I bought a Yashica 35 mm camera and began to take pictures of everything.