Hawaii 2010

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Theodicy with head and heart

My grandson helping me greet people after church on Sunday....sort of!!

Every now and then reminders of the sheer chanciness and fateiness of life, (I know those are not real words), comes crashing in on us.

One Pastor decides to drive his family home to make Sunday Church and they perish in a fog and smoke shrouded Florida Hwy. The other pastor sleeps in and lives. A brave little boy loses his battle with Leukemia.

When we try to figure out pain and suffering and theodicy in our head and feel it in our hearts, then we are going to experience lots of question and lots of heartache.

So says Richard Beck on his blog Experimental Theology. So feels me. (I know feels me is not good grammar).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Farewell Moleskine Planner

Laura singing in the choir.

For the last six or seven years I have enjoyed the sleek and sexy Moleskine planners. Their history and quality make note taking a joy. I plan to keep using them when I am at conferences or note taking events, but my to do lists and monthly planner are now a part of my Xoom Android Tablet. It's just too convenient and nifty not to use.

My kids who are apple people continue to find ways to join their lives for convenience and efficiency. They started using a product that allows them to have have to do list that updates itself on the Iphones so they only have one list, and if an item is procured they both know it. Pretty helpful.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Only In Sun Lakes

We are a senior active community, people play tennis, and work out at the gym and play golf and swim and walk and bike. People love to bring the flavor of their home states to the desert, but this Wyoming fellow took the cake for combining his past and present.

Yep, golf cleats on Tony Lama's.

Finished our series on Aging with the help of Billy Graham's book Finishing Well.
Quoted Billy in the 80s wrestling with God's love for all and a willingness to confess the mystery of scripture and the fact that good people differ.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


When you travel in and out of hospitals for forty years, you appreciate our nurses, doctors, and the support teams that make up modern medicine.

You also learn alot about disease, and diagnosis by listening along with family during treatment.

Occasionally a new disease crosses my radar. I am today leading a memorial celebration for a man who suffered from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, which affects a small group of older men and women, with the loss of balance, weakness, loss of the muscles which control eye movement. No cure known.

I have the utmost of compassion for the family and the loves of one who needs years of caregiving. The patience of their love and providing quality of life are worthy of great praise.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Up and Down on the Round

Is it really possible to make 10 pars and still not break 90? Yep. Did it today.
19 over par on 8 holes, that more than double bogey on the bad holes.

It's still all good because I enjoyed the warmth, the partly cloudy day, and good friends.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Broken World Day

Love the BOKEH in this picture, the blurriness in the background highlights the subject of the flower, but today, the sharp rough background of life was all to visible and vivid.

It started in the home of a grieving wife and daughter, facing an empty house and planning a memorial, then the inside of an incredibly busy emergency room, full of controlled chaos and at least 60 people hurting badly from injuries, organ failures, including a cute boy strapped to a gurney with a spine and neck injury. Hard.

Then to the part of Mesa that is old, and run down and poor, where most of the people ride the bus and poverty is visible everywhere, into an intermediate care facility with the aged and infirm, many men staring blankly, who have no life interest and no family, just sitting.

Home for a hair cut, only to find that I had dropped both my drivers license and my debit card somewhere between here and there. An hour of retracing my steps, locking my card access, praying, only to find that a young kid had turned in my cards to a business nearby. Thankful.

Strange tug in my heart....I am called to go into this world, and relieved to leave it for my gated community.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old and New Ideas

/Remarkable identical adult twins visited church on Sunday.

I believe that God's ultimate purpose is the restoration of all things. Lots of debate about what that means, but in order for it to mean things in heaven and things on earth, then the idea of resurrection and immortality must define our ideas of heaven instead of the other way around. Our ideas of heaven and hell are unworthy of the greatness of God's plan.

It's a hard sell, but worth an effort.

Afternoon delight

One of the duties of ministry is hospital visitation. I am not expected to sit in my office from 8 till 5. So, the afternoons and early evening are the time when I pack the miles on my car. Here is how it went yesterday.

Noon-lunch with the folks volunteering in Mesa at Amor Ministry.

Stop at Best-buy to get software for Office Computer-total fail.

Drive to Gilbert Mercy Hospital to visit a friend who just emerged from a five day
induced coma to deal with pneumonia- one grateful man.

Home for a quick cup of Joe with Laura. Laura had good news about some medical retesting this week, and was emotionally worn out.

An Office wedding, a delight.

Dinner- half rib-eye, half baked potato, salad.

Chandler Regional to see another pneumonia sufferer.

Thankful for the chance to be alive and be used to bring comfort.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Napali?

A view from the top of Napali.

Lately I have been seeing websites that display a series of large photo's along the top and I kind of like it, although I have not changed the look of the blog much. The Napali Coastline in Kauai is a place I have seen from the ocean three times and from the top three times, although the last visit was so fog enshrouded that I was disappointed.

Like the Grand Canyon this coastline reflects long ages of wind and rain shaped beauty, and like the Grand Canyon and the Karchner Caverns, there is evidence of an old earth.
For many Christians raised on Usshers dateline, they feel threatened by any creation story that would reflect such a possibility. Ussher said his studies in Biblical Genealogy puts the age of the earth as 4004 years, but this was almost pre scientific and most conservatives will date the earth at 10,000 years, and state than any geological evidence is the result of the flood or other catastrophic occurrences.

I have no issues with a God who creates quickly or slowly, because the fight He is fighting against the powers and principalities is a slow one, and my life is passing quickly. Whatever, I rate the view of the Napali Coastline as one of the most moving moments of beauty in my lifetime, and once we rode a spine fracturing pontoon boat and walked among old ruins of a village at the base of the largest vista in the 18 mile coast. Way Cool.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beginning our life together standing with our friends and family.

Did you know Billy Graham was friends with Bob Hope, and Martin Luther King, and almost all living Presidents during his years as an Evangelist.

I am off the opinion that no one will rise to the level of public proclamation like His again in our lifetime, and it is was past time for Christians to walk the walk and talk the talk with all the scandals and hypocrisy among Christians and leaders.

Nevertheless we celebrated the impact of his life, including his last book on how to age well, and finish well. It was a pleasure to bring up some great memories over the last several decades in the evangelical movement.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Firebirds Celebration

A southern restaurant with western themes, returns west. They have opened 20 0f these up scale open spaced eateries in the last 12 years. Good food, kind of noisy, our second time there, but a great wedding anniversary evening.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diet Helper

I snapped this picture on the way to our yearly mens breakfast, where I violated the spirit of this post with biscuits and gravy, a real throwback to my days in Dixie.

I got heavy on a product called Hamburger Helper. It was post college in our first group home where a bunch of men took turns cooking. It was new in the 70s and so easy to brown meat, throw in water and the macaroni and sauce. It made a lot and it was always eaten completely. Two years of living like that put me near 250 lbs. Only when I left hamburger helper and replace it with a helpmate, ie. my wife, did we begin to address my issues, discover my hypertension, eat right and enter the ministry quite healthy and at a proper body size.

Christians in the south were not health conscious. I started gaining several pounds a year in a battle that goes on today. I was in the health store shopping for supplements last week on a half off sale. I purchased a type of body cleanse created for diabetics, and wow, it is working. Somehow it has taken the edge off hunger pangs and is helping me to eat our boring little meals of a small portion of fish or chicken, a vegatable, and a salad.

In our church, we have become more health conscious as we age. Its nice to see the church learning a little from our health conscious culture.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Year 38 begins in our marriage

Most of our lives are routine and duty bound in our working years. We both woke up at 3am this morning but Laura stayed in bed and I watched a cute movie with my TV Ears on.
I am dragging a bit but at work.

I gave Laura these roses to mark our special day, and we set aside Friday for a nice dinner out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Happier Honeymoon Story

37 years of load bearing together. I love you Laura.

Today is our 37th Wedding Anniversary. My my how time flies. The newly wed broke student phase, the baby phase, the kids and PTO stage, the high school can I drive the car phase, the empty nest phase, the you cook I am too busy stage. I have loved it all with this women. We are in the life companion stage where a back rub is part of our joy and vacationing with our grand children is a huge bonding experience.

We hope and pray for many more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How the Honeymoon Ends

Full moon over the Point at Poipu.

If you happened to watch Undercover Boss this week you met the new Owner of Diamond Resorts Internation, which took over management of my home resort on Kauai several years ago. He kind of came across like a cigar chewing bull in a China Shop.

We bought what they called a Honeymoon time share package in 2001 which enabled us to use or trade our resort every other year. It was sold as a way to prepurchase future vacations and escape inflation. HA?!

Long story short, our costs have sky rocketed, and just before Christmas he passed along a bill for us to unexpectedly pay for 65 million dollars in repairs at our resort. Go to Angry Owners at Poipu Point on FaceBook to see the rants.

We had three great vacations in Kauai and one in Maui, one in New Orleans and one in San Diego, but this dude has ruined it, and we are joining others in a lawsuit if possible, and an exit strategy of some sort. It's sad, so many older folks believed the time share promises and have been ensnared in a shady Vegas racket. DRI company has ruined it for us, but they cannot ruin those beautiful islands.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red and Yellow Black and White

My black and white cat, who is scared of everybody...not a watch kitty, when the doorbless rings she heads for the closet.

When we moved to central Alabama in Dec. of 61, it was for my father's job promotion. From upstate New York to Alabama. Little did I know it would change my views about people and hatred and bigotry. I know the word bigotry is strong and used by people who think they are not against people who are. But bigotry and racism are part of my southern experience.

We were white folks, living in a white neighborhood, shopping in a white town square with a confederate soldier statue in the center. A few streets over there were black businesses, serving black folks, whose kids went to black schools, and that's the way God ordained it and intended it and blessed it. Something was wrong with that picture.

Until Martin Luther King began to join the protests for change, and the history is still being made.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Dr. Laurie P. spoke to a full house last night about her time serving in Iraq as an emergency physician, saving the lives of our soldiers.

It was very moving to hear of the procedures to patch up the masses of men and women who had severe damage to extremities and heads.

She and her team served heroically in my opinion, but she insisted that the soldiers were the heros, which I agree with wholeheartedly.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Farewell Hostess Twinkies

Shave Ice and homemade banana bread on Mauai. YUM

As a youth, I ate my share of Twinkles and Snow Balls. No that big a fan of Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's. These days if it comes in a wrapper I am likely to pass. The passing of the Company does demonstrate how free enterprise works, as many companies tried to created healthier snacks the market eroded. I do not think the government should bail out Hostess, if it survives in a buy out or emerges with newer products fine. And I hope all the fine Hostess employees find other work.

Now Little Debbie Zebra cakes!! That's another story and a serious addiction in my adult life...you could get like a whole bunch for them for $1.79. And the cake blended with chocolate both white and black and the creamy filling...don't get me started.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Visiting the Greens

It was so nice to tee it up with my friends. We had a dozen men today ranging from 60 to 80+. There was a frost delay so we finished at two.

There were some good shots enjoyed but mostly a mediocre day, except it was like
a gift to be back out there again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank you again

My daily photo blog reached 20,000 hits yesterday, which I began counting two years ago. This little encouragement keeps me writing. I remind you of my purpose, which is a daily photo and a daily connection of something I thought about or something that occurred I felt like sharing.

This is not a Theo blog, although I think about God and truth alot. This is not about trying to change any ones thinking, except to realize that every one of us is really like George Bailey. We all want to be heroes, and world changers, and world travelers, and famous, but most of us live modest, small lives, and that is OK, it is more than OK it is great and wonderful.

Hope is a powerful thing, yesterday a friend gave me a book on a few supplements that have shown to help people with heart disease. Sprout's is having a vitamin and supplement sale this week, so I bought them. Will they work? I hope so, and hope as I said is a powerful emotion. Your quick visit during the day fills me with hope that my little life has meaning, but if my readership drops tomorrow to nothing, I still have hope that my life and love and living have significance, and I am not whistling Dixie on that!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tim Tebow

Golf Carts are becoming more stylish these days, this is a real head turner.

Had a discussion with our Men's Bible Study about Tebowing type witnessing. They all though it was bold and good for the faith. My point of view was how silly the whole John 3:16 talk about the game last week was, and and wondered about what Jesus said about beware of practicing your righteousness before men.

This distracts us from the real desire to see American return to the faith, it won't be showy and star driven and patriotic bring back prayer in school talk, it will be repentance and honesty in the halls of government and the boards of business.

Just thinking out loud.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In a glass darkly

Being back to work means study, which I enjoy daily. It means interaction with others, which gives life zest, at home, in the office, in the hospital, all of which I did yesterday.

It's odd to walk into a hospital to visit someone when you were there just a few days ago as a patient, although the identification with those being treated is heightened.

It means planning ahead, for nothing happens tomorrow without our preparing for it, and that forward focus is good.

Lots of hooting among my southern friends about LSU vs. Alabama BCS Bowl. How they love their football in the SEC. I lived in Alabama for four years, perhaps they are my college teams?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday, Monday

Lunch Day-17 people enter the study room to make sandwiches for the homeless. A blessing.

Maui-Watching the Opening Golf Tourney and seeing from the air what Laura and I drove on delightful Sunday afternoon the year before last. We stopped at each promontory and descended into a small beach primarily used for snorkeling, then the popular family beach that gets great ratings in the travel books. I showed her the Plantation Course and we drove through the oceanside course and stopped at looked at a sacred burial site.

Ended the day at a brand new McDonalds, done in Hawaiian culture. Precious memories.

Bought a present for those memories, a 12 inch digital picture frame for my office, and I can de-stress by lifting my eyes to the wall and see my favorites every day. I am favorably impressed with the color, picture quality and handling options of the Pandigital brand.

Made my first Microsoft movie slide show of highlights from 2011, worked great, learned things for the next try.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Day, New Week, New Year

2012, the Mayan doom year is finally here and I am not listening to the Mayans, nor anyone else about the end of days.

I am going to live each day as if today is a special gift, and even though there will be some dreary ordinary ones and some painful ones no doubt, I will enjoy being here while I am here and trying to be fully here instead of in yesterday or tomorrow.

Diet and exercise will continue to be of interest and tweeked as needed, politics will be a necessary element of an election year, and I will enjoy the blessings of my native land, long may she thrive.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Descendents

This beach played a big role in the movie, its on Hanalei Bay in Kauai near the Princeville resort, also played a role in the musical South Pacific. The prewar pier still functions as a picnic and play area.

A powerful film, do not see if you are offended by profanity but it plays a role in the rebellion of the main charactar's children. Oahu, Kauai, play an inportant role in the drama about tragedy, disfunctional families, and family values, all portrayed with power and the traditions of hawaiian music, culture, and beauty in the backgroud. You see the high price of infidelity and the strength of family.The suffering in the movie created bonding and strength. We liked it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Being glad in this day

Maui sunset.

My life returns to normal, thankful for a week of rest and recuperation after my heart cath. Laura has returned for a teacher only preparation day for the second semester, I am going to be out and about for gas, some errands and some fresh air and sunshine. I put on some new pants I got for Christmas and a new Hawaiian shirt, the email has been checked at church, Bullitens ready, dear assistant back from her vacation and playing catchup. She did threaten to kill me if I had died this week leaving her to clean out my office.

I did read a remarkable book this week that gently reminded us that the Bible is about the redemptive message of Christ and not about cooking and baking and dating and marriage manuals. We have weakened the message by trying to make it a manual on everything rather than the story of the gospel.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cath Lab Hilton

I am home from the hospital. Spent 24 hours in the new home of the CRH Cath lab. They now have there own unit with 8 or 10 rooms. This was dedicated in September and the crew are loving it. So did I because everything was nice, got to walk to the bathroom, order coffee and have a great team of nurses tending to my care.

In a providential moment my nurse was the pastor's wife at the church where my daughter attended and works for. We had good fellowship. The procedure was my fifth in eleven years, and I continue to be amazed at the way they can deal with heart blockages so effectively.

Three of my visits were related to chest pain and a quick trip through the emergency room to the table. The last two were preemptive diagnosis, and it is a much prefered way to deal with heart disease.

There are only four arteries that feed the heart, I think. This one was the place where my first heart attack in 2000 occurred. The stent had slowly begun to plaque and they fixed that, then stented another more serious blockage. You may be tempted to ask me what I can do to stop these expensive visits....I did, and the answer is to keep doing what I have been doing and keep having yearly stress tests, because some people have a proclivity to plaque up, usually with a rare form of cholesterol than is smaller and denser and sticks to the walls for more damage.

I consider my life a gift, and an extension of the miracles of modern medicine. I cannot tell you how good it feels to "keep on keeping on" with my daily wonderful life. I have to be very vigilant about diet and exercise, but that is a small price to pay for the gift of resuming my ministry, my presence at the side of my dear long suffering Laura, who gave up two days of vacation sleep for me, and for my cat, who loves to sit on my chest and purr while I stroke his fur.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thank You for praying

eVery thing went well, balloned a ten year old stent and put another in. 70 and 90% occluded, Its genetic foe me. This catching it early is way better than an attack, will spend the night in the hospital.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life as a Vapor

OK, I know I said I was going silent, but the habit of sharing daily is a good one so thanks for checking in.

Anytime you go on a surgical table, you spend some time contemplating your mortality, which I have been doing. There is just no good way to prepare for the possibility, just hope and trust.

Todays picture shows the result of our daughter working 3+ hours to hang four 12 pound pictures on our kitchen wall, not an easy task but a very pleasant result that fills the room with angles and reflected light.

I took some time away from reading, praying and reflecting to go see "Ghost Protocol" with wifey. Incredible story and action, oh if the human body could really sustain all the stuff they make Tom Cruise and crew perform in the movie.

I really want to spend more time in this physical realm. I have worked hard to take care of the temple in recent years, but dealing with a defective mechanism takes it out of my hands for a while tommorow. Lots of dear friends are praying, and I am trusting. I never got to preach to thousands or travel around the world, but like George Bailey, the angels have shown me that I have had a most wonderful life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Offline for a few days

I am taking a few days to be quiet and renew so I will be back on Thursday, Lord willing.

I am going to have another heart exploration in the form of an angiogram early Wednesday, to see if a blockage is developing in the artery feeding the lower quadrant of my heart. I am of course dissapointed, it is possible to strengthen the heart muscle through exercise but you are stuck with the condition of your major artories. So the cardiologist will attempt to restore blood flow, hopefully with another stent or ballon, worst case, by pass.

Your prayers are appreciated, hope to be with you Thursday.