Hawaii 2010

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jesus, John and Paul

No passing on the right my friends.

My bible study season starts this week as I near the end of ten years of ministry here in this community. I have reached a pinnacle in subject study this year as we go through John's Gospel in the mornings and Paul's letter to the Romans on Tuesday Evenings.

I am hoping that those who come will sense it worthwhile and that our searching will deepen our faith and trust in the big plan of God.

I confess that the current rush of news and the sense of urgency about the world situation have my head spinning with all the opposing viewpoints and negative rhetoric flying back and forth.

I feel very little sense of connectedness to the popular type christianity as expressed by the rally held in Philidelphia this weekend. America belongs to Jesus?  What does that mean? This big melting pot is our mission field, this country has all kinds of folks with all kinds of beliefs, and all kinds of needs and expressions of life. I belong to Jesus, now that makes sense.  The church belongs to Jesus...we hope so. But American is an idea about freedom and democracy and welcoming people from all nations, and respecting our diversities.

More on DRI

Diamondhead in Honolulu.

In order to maintain Hawaiian Resorts, which are more costly than those in the states or overseas because of the high costs of watering vegatation and maintaining ocean front property, DRI has formed the Hawaiian collection, all the resorts he owns are hooked into his same bank account, so if you own a resort in Maui you still get to help pay for the disaster in Kauai and your costs go up.

I tell you this because yesterday DRI paid for an add on Amazon offering five nights at the Kannapalli Beach Resort for 700 bucks, an awesome deal, and it is a lovely resort, we had a blast there.  Just know that DRI is giving away a 400 dollar a night room for the chance to hook you into their system.  If I had kept my resort membership the maintenance fees each year I used the resort had risen to 1800 a week or over 250 dollars a night, so my 10000 investment really meant nothing in making my vacations cheaper.

I will let this go of this.....unless they come after me and try to hurt my credit.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hope for the future

This is our quarter jar. When it is full we are going to Italy, the Amalfi Coastline. Well, maybe not but the quarter jar represents hope for future travel.

We are meant to look forward to the future, which is why hope is such a powerful theme in the gospel and life itself. One week after a life extending heart procedure, I need to hope for my own future, and I am.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sublaxation and other pressing matters

One of my favorite point of views in vacation photography is to catch my wife watching scenery. My joy is increased by sharing her joy in appreciating Maui's beauty.

I have been looking for a new chiropractor since my former clinic was empty when I went for help recently. I  was warned after an MRI and CT scan not to have my neck manipulated with force anymore, and I am OK with no longer enduring that rather scary procedure, so I have now had two sessions with a fine clinic with a fine reputation for helping people with sports injuries and other joint and nerve related problems.  So far so good. This doctor uses the activater method and he has introduced me to his power driven pile driver of an activator that gives rapid hits and responds with a beep when the bone adjusts. I like it because you know something is being done, and yet you are being spared the wrestling match when the other type twists you and puts all his weight on you hoping to hear a pop. I feel like the loser in a Sumo wrestling match sometimes.

For any potential skeptics out there just let me say that the bones are all connected to muscle and nerves and sometimes we get out of kilter and need help.  He found the source of my present pinch and my arm was responding convulsively and is really responding well later last evening. 

Another friend who has serious back problems lent me her machine that provides electric pain masking and massage, and wow is that cool, just criss cross the soreness and six different patterns zap the pain, flex the muscles, and sooth the nerves. I am all in with that gizmo.

I am really trying to get away from obsessing with my health, but its on my mind and in my thoughts until I feel functional again. So bear with me friends and family. Still very grateful to be alive and to have the great and precious promises of the One whose presence fills each day with purpose.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My worst financial decision ever....sort of

Our former home resort, The Point at Poipu, Kauai.

Last month the Hawaiian papers published four huge pages of foreclosure notices on a time share in Kauai. Our name was on the list and I want to tell you a tale of warning. It all started with a helicopter ride.

We are in Kauai for our 25th anniversary at the Sheraton, and to save money on a flight around the island we promised to hear a time share sales promotion.  We did, we said no, they began to invite us back for a stay at a mere 100 dollars a night. In the meanwhile I had my first heart attack. Thinking I was a goner, we took them up on the deal and returned to Kauai with two of our children and one grandchild, and we loved it. The thought of trading and doing this in other resorts, the idea that all our payments for the week would apply to the sales price, and me thinking my life was almost over....well, in a moment of weakness we bought a sweet little every other year prepaid vacation so we could have "future inflation free vacations".  HA

Allow me to condense to the end of the story. Ten years later we have enjoyed five weeks of vacation for our considerable investment,  The resort changes hands three times, a rapacious crook takes over and management hikes our yearly maintenance fees to a ridiculous amount, and then decides to pass on a massive repair bill for shoddy construction from way before we ever got on the helicopter ten years ago.

Hence we are billed half of our original money just to continue our ownership, our inflation free vacation becomes enormously expensive again, and we and 500 plus other owners said, We have had enough an d we aren't going to play this game any more.  We are waiting to see if this "sham foreclosure" affects our credit ratings, or if they sic credit collectors on us.That would be the ultimate low down scum move, as he gets to sell our timeshare again to some younger suckers.  We are in a lawsuit, but this shyster gets not one more nickel of my vacation money.

Advice, save for a vacation, buy what you can afford. Do not buy into any timeshare of any kind. Run, don't walk from a company called Diamond Resorts International who wants to corner the market on the vacation industry. The other thing they cannot take away is the beautiful 5 weeks we enjoyed in Kauai, Maui, San Clemente, and New Orleans for our ten years of vacations.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The very old and very fragile

Everyone I know wants to live and be healthy a long time. This week after jumping back into the fray I have been by the bedside of some of our super senior saints in their mid 90s. This was the generation that came of age and served as young men and women in WWII. Many of their wedding dates coincidence with shipping out dates, and as everyone confessed, they were our greatest generation.

Here is some of what I gleaned for your own reflection in your aging process.

They are not afraid to die.  This is good because they are close.

They still enjoy living because they are surrounded by loving people. I get that.

You cannot judge longevity by the outward package. Some of these folks are so frail you can blow them over with a sneeze, but their bodies are still healing and resiliant. Its a wonderfully made tent.

Keeping your mind sharp is why you want your body to work, once the mind goes, the body is quite burdensome. Pray that you will keep your wits up unto the end.

Being thankful and appreciative and having a sense of humor are timeless and ageless.

Pain and suffering are not easy for any of us, and that's why we provide senior care, hospice, and pain management as part of our humane treatment of our senior seniors, and why I am here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back into the fray

I really enjoyed professional golf this season and am happy a non super star walked away with the big prize this year. Way to go, Snedeker.

The funny thing about living and politics and health and faith is that you are almost always involved in opinions and debates. It is very hard to find answers that are unified and incontrovertable.

My doctor believes cholesterol numbers are the culprit in plaque buildup, yet I have had much improved numbers and still have problems. The paleo people eats lots of meat and butter and eggs do not worry about such things and say medicine is way off base on this thinking.  The vegans say eating animals and eggs and milk is sure fire invitation to cancer and heart disease.

How to proceed?

I am listening to all sides. Aware of all the major debates in health and faith, and politics, each of which have affected my past and will affect my future, our future.  If I do not stop plaqueing I will not have a very long future, and I must be proactive on this one.

So, start where there is consensus.  Hippocrates said, let your medicine be your food and your food be your medicine. Eat nothing wrapped in plastic, that does not rot.  Eat fresh living vegatables and fruit and small amounts of protein from healthy vegetable sources and some fish and chicken. Bad fats and oils go, good fats are still my friends, stay active. Work on stress management??? See previous post???

In faith, the way I live and talk are more important than solving minor theological issues, but major issues like the plan and character of God must be taught.

Hope that America remains a place for individual freedom and opportunity, that people have compassion on the poor and disabled and needy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to avoid stress

Sunsets are very relaxing to me.

Are you kidding me? I have no clue how to avoid stress. Life is stressful.  Every time I enter a room I feel stressed.

I am taking a Sunday off for medical leave and recuperation. I am relaxed. Because I live with a blood pressure cuff as my third best friend. Laura being the first and the internet being the second.......(just kidding), I can always tell when I am stressed.

In the hospital, four friends stopped by to cheer me up, and the nurse watched my blood pressure skyrocket.  When I am driving, my blood pressure shows stress.

When I am resting in bed, I can track the upper systolic number as I recline and relax. I have had high blood pressure all my life since my teen years. Me and stress go way back.

Years ago I began using a relaxation technique called EFT, and I just bought a booklet that shares some of the latest tips for using body tapping for stress relief.  I think it works for me some.

I think all these realities causes me to respond when God offers me peace, a peace that passes all understanding, a peace that fills your heart and mind, yes, that works for me lots. Have a great day friends.
Please don't stop by, I am de-stressing and healing in solitude, that works for me big time. Oh, and watching the boringness of professional golf works too. Somebody is going home with 10million extra bucks today, and boy I think I could handle that stress.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back to Dr. Sinatra

Late afternoon in a yacht near Lanai in June 2010.

There is always more than one way to analyze events in your life. I had two school friends have heart attacks this year, and their first was their last, both had funerals. When I was informed on Thursday that I would be headed for the Cath lab for the sixth time in 12 years, and the third time in one year and that I needed to call Laura quickly because the Cath Lab leads to the By Pass table if things don't look good....well, I got temporarily emotional.

My doctors partner did the procedure, and with a very sore arm I was hoping it would be over quickly but time kept passing as I listened to the team talking and responding to the commands of the surgeon. Turns out they were very carefully tracking with the dye every vessel, looking for problems, and the time needed was for thorough investigation and they were very happy to find the pressing need and fix it.

I have developed a sensitivity to the beating and actions of my heart over the last decade and I have been able to tell them where the pain is, and after the procedure, I can literally feel the restored circulation. I am not shooting bull friends, its subtle but real.

Here is my analysis for what its worth. I am a quick clogger, and I have been living a healthy life. God is not after me, its a serious case of heart disease, but the eating and exercising have helped me survive these incidents, and unlike my deceased friends and others whose first chest pain led to bypass surgery, I have been granted opportunity to deal with each incident with minimal permanent damage to the heart muscles.
My hope is that when the time comes for a heart bypass, all the things I am doing to keep healthy will get me through that and give me a decade more of ministry. If not, that's OK, The Lord has blessed me with so much.

I have been taking Dr. Sinatra's heart disease reversing supplements and they have worked, they have not failed, so I am taking them without disappointment but with expectancy. I have been rereading his book and have made a more serious commitment to his PAM diet principles, a blend of foods from Pan-Asian and Mediterranean eating.  Pretty simple and basic and not much different that I have been following, but now it must be tighter and stricter and without vacations or I am a bigger fool than I look. So I will keep you informed and promise not to make this a health blog or a complainers blog. I have life to live and enjoy and the Father love of God to proclaim to fearful people who need freedom.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another close call, another extension of life

A younger version of me on our first Maui trip.

Three hours after trying to solve the problem of back pain at the chiropractor, I am suddenly solving the problem of chest pain with a call to 911. After I was at ER I though I had jumped the gun, but they admitted me for tests and sure enough I had another 80 percent blocked coronary artery, which they fixed will checking very closely for other potential blockages.

Professional medical service, fine nurses, good food, and new interface with the TV that makes it more of a hospital tool, as well as providing free movies and music to relax by. I liked it.

If I were a cat I have used six of my nine lives....as I am a human being with heart disease I have to be amazed that I have avoided three heart attacks in a year, but mystified as to how to stop the plaqueing  process since I have tried so many things in diet and exercise.

So, more study, more willingness to change,more urgency to lose the belly fat, more appreciation for the time I have left. Of note, my smartphone has made me dumb because when the battery died I did not know anyones number by heart to call.

Enjoyed the Fedex final tournament first two rounds in peace and solitude.

When I think of all the wrong places I have been this summer when this could have happened, I am thankful for the timing and circumstances that make me a survivor again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Christian TV please RIP

The Old Pioneer mill house in LaHaina now is the store for Maui Coffee Plantation. I really needed some coffee this morning to get me going after a sleepless night.

I have been doing some channel surfing the last two night when dull pain has robbed me of sleep. Last night I flipped by our seven or eight Christian channels and was saddened by what masqueraded for truth on TV.

One slick lipped dude whose suits and hair should warn every watcher to hide their checkbooks is preying on hopeless people still promising financial miracles once you send some jack his way. So sad, and does he believe his spiel? I guess it keeps him in a lifestyle.

Aging CBN founder ponficating on every thing with the same smirk and giggle he have been using for decades. He is an argument for retirement from the ministry in my opinion.

Various large stages with men holding microphones and ranting. Why in this day of excellent small microphones do these men still hold those things right next to their lips?

Lots of old, old, reruns of people back in their primes like a 1978 Jimmy Swaggart rally in Africa.....did not translate well to today. Please do not judge me for these opinions, some things need to be exposed to ridicule so the real thing can survive. I obviously believe in teaching and preaching, but the profit motivation has bred a cancer in too many of those channels. My opinion.

There is real Christianity working in many places today, with more authentic and missional and relational reality, and this tour through the late nite TV made me long for a goods night sleep.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lets get physical...physical

Yesterday was my third back adjustment, but it was preceded by an hour long deep muscle therapeutic massage, head to toe, no muscle left unmoved, no joint left unshaken. I was moved and bent and stretched and stimulated to get the blood flowing every which way, even had a face muscle workout.

The Brazilian masseuse had 20 years experience, and we talked about her kids and my kids but I followed her into the dark room and laid down so if I passed her on the street I would not know her, kind of funny, but I got the whole nine yards. I am sore this morning and still recovering, still sore in that one shoulder area but getting better I hope. This was obviously my first massage, and I kept asking muscle and nerve questions the whole time.  She told me I had exceptional flexibility, and I was proud that stretching was already part of my weekly routine.

I should change the subject but I woke up in the middle of the night and tried to sleep on the couch so I am still trying to wake up, so much of our life is just normal stuff like this, and after a week I am ready for a new normal.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Body and Soul

This is me pretending to be King Kamahamaha, and it is already six years since we were in Honolulu.

I was reminded last week of how connected we are to our body. A small malfunction of a muscle/nerve/skeleton connection made every day a struggle. I could not stand or sit or drive without a shooting pain in the upper left part of my body. I received a blessing on Sunday as a Pilates instructor dusted off her massage therapy skills and worked on my back in her home Studio and helped me a great deal. Back to the chiropractor for more therapy today.

Found out through Facebook that one of my Seminary classmates died of a heart attack this week. Class of 1976. Bill G. worked with college students, taught Christian High School and pastored a small town church.

I watched two movies while convalescing, both with the reality of time and its brevity and preciousness.  The Time Travellers Wife is powerful and sad and hopeful. I can't watch that one too often because it is so sad.  I love the movie Frequency about a connection with father and son over 30 years that saves a family from a killer.

Time is a precious gift I try not to waste, but a bum shoulder really slowed me down this week. And even the slowing down was good. I have been using the biblical truths about 40 years and 400 years and the patience of God in revealing His good plan of the ages. Very important ideas. But in this body and with this soul, I still have only this moment, this day to live. Thank you for the gift of a body that works and heals, and a soul that can be renewed each day in the presence of the timeless, ageless God.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

He's always been faithful to me

That's the title of a song by Sarah Groves that plays off the classic hymn and the verse in Lamentations. Her mother had bypass surgery this past week, and her sister has a rare chemical imbalance that takes her mobility away. I am saying that life can be hard and things happen and have always happened but the promises of God and His presence turn all those hard things into part of the plan for our blessing.

Romans talks about a lot of things that happen in this world and they are not pleasant, but none of those things can separate us from the love of God in Christ, and that is comforting and true, the word made flesh entered into this flawed by design world, and it took his body out, but unleashed the healing spirit of the Father and the Son, and we have made progress as man and mankind.

Lots of angry people hate me and want me to die. I am an American by national birth, one who has been blessed by our freedoms, and someone wants me to die. It's a disquieting thought, but I have a greater thought about the One who loves man and mankind, so I feel compassion for the blindness that has led that part of world to be motivated by such hate and misguided passion. I always realize that God did create government for the restraining of lawlessness, and boy do we need some wisdom in how to deal with the muslim terrorists. They are not fading away.Today I shall preach and teach about the grace and truth that came through Christ.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Here we go again

Rioters are a strange breed, usually young men, angry and motivated toward throwing rocks and destroying property. It seems a strange way to defend the honorable name of your prophet. Flag burning is their way of expressing the desire to destroy the presence of our country in their country. Sometimes I wonder if we should just pull out and leave those countries alone, no McDonalds, KFC, consulates, American travel, American products. There is a fundamental dysfunction in this expression of Muslim identity that is not going to work in the world as it has developed today. Hoping it does not spread to our shores.

On a personal note, my physical problem was not a pulled muscle but a badly pinched nerve.....I should have known that but I did not. The chiropractor got the bone to move and then applied massage and electric muscle stimulation. Its a hoot to have your muscles firing off involuntarily during the session. I, wonder if this thing would have worked itself out by itself or I would have been in a permanent pickle. The pain was affecting everything, especially driving, I could not sit in the carseat without pain. Oh, to be sure with both topics today,  "this too shall pass."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day four of a nagging problem

My friend Doug is advertising his very fine E book on his truck, and I agree with the sentiment.

Life goes along and you get a cold which makes you feel really low for a few days, as was last week, and then this week somehow I pulled a muscle in my upper back, you know the place, we all do it from time to time.  This time it began pulling my neck and back out of wack and I could not lie on the floor on either my front or back.  I found a local chiropractor who was very physical and with his body weight and my groaning we got six of seven relieving cracks and pops. (Those guys could break your neck if they wanted to, since they grab it and twist it.)

Feeling better but back tomorrow for more since the muscle pull continues to hurt big time and I cannot straighten my head up without pain. Health is a gift we take for granted until something goes haywire.
100 days left on the Mayan calendar, the radical muslims are shaking their fists at us and doing unspeakable acts of cruelty to our men involved in that murder. I confess I got sort of excited and hopeful by the Arab spring talk, but I am very sad about all this now, and a bit apprehensive about how its going to play out.

Its your fault we are doing this???

This is my Android phone shot out the window looking at clouds toward the end of the day. Very peaceful, from the God of Peace.

It your fault we are hating and killing you is what I heard last night from a muslim man. Americans are free to share opinions, and YouTube cannot be censored, so someone used his freedom to criticize the prophet and it is your fault we hate you and are killing you.

The funny thing about our freedom is that in reality my God, whom I love is cursed every minute of every day    for bad golf shots to hammered fingers to bad stock markets.  Every time I teach that God is this someone says no, Hes not this He's that.  And we argue, but we do not kill our opponents.

I am sympathetic with my missionary friends who ask that we be more careful in what we publish as they have to live in those rapidly growing muslim cultures.

There is something to all this both sides must face. Is God a violent being? Most muslims and christians would insist He is, and that we are fortunately on the right side of God's violence. Somehow the message of Jesus needs to come into play here, and if we are honest we have to admit that christian violence and murder has the same sordid history as does the muslim violence in the name of Allah. They are both to be faced before we kill each other to death, big time, and sooner than we think.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Independent Thinking is important

A return to fishing after several decades while on vacation reminded me how much fun it is to wet the lure and toss it into the murky water and wait for the vibrations of the bite. Thanks Peter.

Usually we want to know what the majority thinks, because we assume they must be right. We follow the crowd. But the road less traveled has the most surprises in my experience.

I find myself being drawn not to the conferences and books that everyone is listening to, but to the independent voices that have asked the questions and done the due diligence. Every great movement of reform and recovery began with a few dissenting voices saying, that's not the best way to look at it, or I disagree enough to look for better answers.

It is no different in spiritual searching, the crowd follows the majority opinion while the lone dissenter finds the rose among the thorns. In theology we have two huge constructs through which the evangelical faith is interpreted, generally called Calvinism and Arminianism. A close look at the language and assumptions that each produce quickly shows you that both cannot be true in all their conclusions. The lone dissenter looks at each and then goes to the original documents of the scriptures to see how each view developed and how the system became self sustaining and questions the presumptions until and new way of seeing begins to develop.

I visited an author who did such a thing yesterday. I am not the man I described above, I am a gleaner, one who picks up the fruit of brave men and women who have the drive to look deeper and ask the questions.
I am grateful for those searchers, those dissenters, those minority voices.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Violation of Common Decency

Clouds from God's above perspective, one of my favorite parts of flying, and why using the Airplane as a weapon of mass destruction gets to everyone of us who have ever flown.

I began to believe we should stop having 9/11 special memorial services after the 10th Anniversary. It was not helping us to remember properly or to heal progressively.  I just felt angry without any edification being accomplished.

As one of the most video documented events in history it is so easy to be transported emotionally right back to that beautiful normal fall day in the northeast when we were violated to the core of our humanity by an insane hatred, resentment, and an evil religious idea.

For me, a preacher, the evil religion idea is the most sensitive because as a study of history and particularly church history I see how easy this cancer develops in the human heart and in the national heart. There is nothing that gives religion a black eye like violence done in the name of God.

That is one of the reason so many are struggling with our violent Old Covenant, they just cannot see how Jesus completes that story with the story they have been told, and many are working on that idea.

Islam needs to retool and retell its story, because this is one deed that no one is going to forget, and I do remember today, with pain, and sadness, and a bit of fear that religious violence can destroy the world, if we let it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It worked....and then it did'nt!

I keep seeing evidence that we are in some kind of major shift of understanding about so many things. World views are being challenged successfully and those who insist that we can just go back to the way things were are not understanding how many things have changed irretrievably in recent decades.

The faithful dig in so deep that sometimes it looks like their heads are in the sand. But their defenses are weak and their original ideas were not well grounded.

I don't think this is just a youth versus age issue. We sang along with the 5th Demension in 68, "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius" but it was really just an antiwar angst along with a sexual revolution of sorts.

This is deeper, and wider, and more comprehensive and seems to affect everything and every type of perception. I know the freedom of speech and thought plus the internet voice plays a big role.

I did some reading on two blogs about people who have been scarred by controlling religious fundamentalists.  Decades ago the victims suffered silently, and now they leave loudly and share with many eager ears what abusive religion can do to the spirit.  This is good, as is so much of this shift, and I am shifting too, and its good.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Slow start to the Gospel of John

A blustery Delmar CA day seven years ago.

This will be my third week of discussing the role of John the Baptist in the gospel. I have mostly been sharing the big story Moses told about an amazing creation with man and woman ruling it, about the unleashing of the knowledge of good and evil and the reality of sin and death into the world,  about the amazing way that Abraham's descendants multiplied in the belly of the beast called Egypt for 400 years, and about the launching default of the Mosaic covenant that ended up being a 40 year judgement before they inherited the land, or at least crossed and began to take it.

So hopefully, tomorrow, I will get to his message and the joy it brought the people.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Ayes clearly did not have it

It seemed like a cool car at the time, turned out to be a real loser.

It was probably 40% for and 60% against putting God and Israel  in the Democratic Convention.  I do not have the same reaction as many who believe God would hold this rejection against them.   He knows the heart is blind, and politics is about compromise.  But it is still a bit chilling that the words were inserted with such a mixed voice vote for political expediency.

So now the final race is on, and the faithful from both parties will cheer and work for their candidate, knowing that the uncommitted voters, the independent voters, and undecided voters who may honestly be the least informed people around, will likely choose the next president, or some incredible numbers game in the outmoded electoral college will create a scandal again.

I do care, I really do, but I pledge allegiance to the Lamb. I truly hope will all my heart the best candidate will win, but I have got to prepare for either outcome in my heart and in my ministry to the Church.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When hope sinks

A tiny prairie church rescued for later generations to remember that faith sustained people during those hard decades of westward expansion.

Every now and then I meet or hear about a string of people who are unhappy with their life situation. Bad health, accidents, money issues, you name it, and as I hear their stories I am struck with how stuck these people are, and no amount of wishful thinking can change the basic problems.

If I am able I share the dangers of bitterness, which most of them already have tasted and they know it only makes things worse, and I can only listen and pray for them, which they appreciate.

I also pray that if and when that day comes for me when the wagons circle closer as the winds of adversity hit that I can learn to be satisfied with less money, less freedom, less health.  I think about it, because no one has any guarantees.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

True Believers

Somehow this sculpture reminds of of running for president.

What is truth? Is it in the eye of the beholder?  Seems so. I am not deeply committed to the political process but as a public speaker I stand amazed at the way in which each party can make the facts slant towards their party and platform.

Clinton is speaking masterfully about all the great things that are happening and it seems to make so much sense, and yet when the commentators speak I am sure there will be some evaluations from both sides.

There's not a problem to be found in anything that has happened in the last four years? It's all good and let's keep on track. We care about the middle class. The other party will poison our future forever....etc. etc.

Oh, the joy's of a two party system.

Hunger Games

You know what it feels like to feel good because you know how badly you feel when you get the common cold.  Awake all night with a sour throat that made me keep Laura poking me all night long to stop me from groaning and coughing. You know the routine. Barely crawling through the morning.

I finally watched Hunger Games and realized why it did so well as a novel and at the box office. The survival of the couple in those cruel games was dramatic and she was so strong as a young woman driven to survive in order to help her family. A dark vision of a corrupt class system economy.

Can't think, got to go get some sleep.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

RIP Micheal Clark Duncan

image?.CaptionSome people were born to do one great thing. The role of John Coffey, the suffering Christ figure in the Green Mile was such an opportunity for Duncan.

Everything about that beautiful, tragic, and powerful story moved me deeply. The setting, the characters, the music, the slow unfolding of the plot, and that huge gentle giant, Duncan who endeared me so deeply in his portrayal of goodness standing against evil.  It is a difficult movie to watch emotionally as every part of man's brokeness is demonstrated vividly. Victims demanding justice, evil men truly deserving of death, the jailors trying to provide justice with dignity, and the mousey sycophant whose selfishness was as evil as the child rapist and murderer.

Coffey the healer did what he could, but it was not enough to escape his own death, or, was that death the catalyst for change the characters needed. Yes, John Coffey was the suffering Christ, and in real life He conquered the grave. And that figure is what gives me the comfort to know Micheal Clark Duncan will live again.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day reflections

Weight Lifting is fun.

The transition from summer to fall is less pronounced here, but for me it is welcomed. I am amazed to share that I begin my fourth year of regular exercise this month. Those three to four hours each week have built core strength and muscle definition and lung strength that would have continued deteriorating with age had I not gotten out the door to the gym, and for that habit I am thankful, no matter what happens I have made the effort and enjoyed some real results. It is a labor that makes me feel young and alive even with the knowledge that heart problems may continue.

I continue to labor to understand the relationship between faith and real life and the changes occurring in our evangelical world. I used to think that we were in a lull that would lead to a new and better reformation of faith since so many are no longer experiencing church as the center of their life. But lately I am wondering if this is a deformation that will lead to a new and better way to live our faith in the finished work of Christ in the world, one that embraces and does not exclude the world we are called to bless.

I labor with the lifelong feelings of rejection when people leave the church angry. One of the recurring dreams in my sleep time is encountering people who are angry with me, and even though years have passed they still are resentful. This is part of the cost of standing for something, and for being in a career where it is impossible to do the right thing all the time. I am not defending myself, too often I flee the pain and it paralyzes me. Some progress but no healing.

I love Jesus, because His finished work allows me to cease from Labor and find my Rest in Him.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frank Lloyd Wright was a cool dude

 Toured Taliasen West yesterday with Laura and Brian, and was fascinated by an original thinker whose life was extended by moving to the desert in the winter. Everything he did up on that foothill was done after he was 70, and he left so much for us to appreciate about the beauty of building on the space you have.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The End of August

Leaving superstition mountain forever.

Once in a blue moon everything becomes clear, you have set out of a quest for truth, armed with enough wrong turns and humility not to grasp for anything without careful observation. You have learned about the pitfalls and the distractions and the ever present fog that keeps you from seeing the goal clearly, and for a while you see it, God's purpose for this creation.

The moment you see it you fear sharing it because you know those with smaller and meaner views will vilify you and try to stop you from sharing something so beautiful that robs them of their petty power and puffed up sense of privilege.

You know you are not alone on this quest because you see and hear others along the path reading the same markers and leaving the dusty truths of systems and sects behind and feeling free of their weight the beauty of the plan begins to shine clearer and the fog lifts.

I wish I could invite you to this banquet, but you have become so satisfied with making mudcakes beside the home you have built. But I will begin to serve it up, because it was made to be shared, and the risk is worth it to invite you to get up and travel a bit and look to the horizon, this truth is strong enough for your questions and will survive your attempts to ignore it or doubt it, because once you are back on the journey, the things you left behind will fade into the child's toys they have always been.

Now is the time, humanity can wait no longer, God's purpose for creation will not be hidden, and it is not fearful, but wonderful.