Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bring on the Heat

Most birds just do not have to work that hard to attract a mate, but this guy attracts onlookers who marvel at creations variety and amazing beauty.

That range between 100 and 110 is when heat gets oppressive. Yesterday I golfed with almost no one else on the course and we zipped through, my favorite kind of golf experience, flitting from shade to shade and moving quickly. Lots of fun.

Laura exulted in the reality that another year has passed and no children are waiting her today as she cleans her room and packs things away for the summer. Only six weeks off, we need to made them restful, joyful and special.

Once afternoon, in the eight grade, I had a strange moment of exhilaration when being picked up by mom after school, an illumination in the early summer just as school was letting out that life was beautiful. June brings that out in me from time to time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Third time may be the charm

Another service at the National Memorial Cemetery. So many flowers and visitors over this weekend.

I bought an expensive masticating juicer ten years ago, attended a training session with vegetarians, some of whom were raw foodists. It was weird, I was not ready, my friend Mercy now has my juicer now, and she is a super nutritional heroine of mine.

Got a Jack La lane as a gift two years ago, never used it, and around our house that means it goes, and it went to some charity.

Now, after learning more about it and seeing the powerful results in the movie documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I am enjoying it a lot. Day three this morning tossed in some strawberries, blueberries, two green apples, two stalks of celery, one cucumber, three stalks of Kale (not good when cooked IMO) and some carrots. Delicious.

Your stomach gets this great gift of micronutrients ready to go to work and says wow, and your system gets a rest and your cells say, this is terrific, and your body burns some fat. You can do it for a meal, a day, 3,5 or 10 days as a system reboot.

Now to convince wifey that I have changed, and will really do this.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Week for Laura

This was in 2004 standing near the Jurassic Park scene past the swinging doors in the movie, filmed on Kauai. Spielberg loved to use that island for his movies.

Two more days of kids and two of cleanup and Laura has finished another school year. We look forward to some breaks in our routine in a week or two.

Saw Men in Black 3 with anticipation of seeing our son Brian who was hired for three days to be an extra in the film.  We are pretty sure we saw him in the first scene with a bunch of men in black suits cleaning up around an alien craft.

It was a good finale for the series and the bad guy was especially gruesome.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Farewell Ben

A large crowd of family, friends, and neighbors gathered to say goodbye to Ben M on Saturday. Ben was one of those unique personalities who had no enemies and had a way of making those around him feel special and valued.

He fought for over a month the organ failures that finally took his life. He and his wife were so life focused that coming to the point of hopelessness was very difficult for them to accept.  My task is to remind people in those heartbreaking moments that hope is ahead, past the grief and pain.

An army sharpshooter, a mason, a master carpenter, a dog lover, a family man, like all of us he desired to stay. It has always been beyond our realm of understanding as to the time when we leave this world. Acceptance and a gathering such as we had help us down the road to gratitude that we shared life with a fine man.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

We are enjoying the long weekend and having Shannon and Ben over. Ben has a seven iron now and he was launching them at the practice area yesterday.

Jason Duffer, uhh, I mean Dufner. Boy were we wrong. A year ago he let a win in a major slip away over the last three holes, but we all felt that this stone faced southerner somehow did not belong in that company. He was just a journeyman type of player who may or may not ever win.

We have found out that this stoic golfer has got game, and deserves respect, and sits atop the money list. Some would say his great month of golfing may be forever changed by wedding vows he made. Nothing like a good woman to settle a man down to business. Whether he wins or loses today, he is fun to watch.

I have not forgotten the reason for this holiday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Juicing again

My Palo Verde lost all its bloom in the wind storm last week, my Topsy Turvy has tomatoes but they are not ready to harvest yet.

Last month I watched an inspiring documentary entitled Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, by an outgoing Aussie named Joe who taunted the value of the juice fast in health maintenance and recovery. I have owned and given away two juicers in the last decade because I just did not get into it and was stuck on carrot juicing which has too high a sugar content.

Joe's website, Reboot Your Life has lots of different recipes.  Meanwhile my friend Jack sees his doctor who has seen the movie and is excited about how juicing has helped him and Jack buys the movie, unpacks his juicer, and buys some veggies and fruit. We watched the movie and I was again inspired, and Jack wants to give it a try with one of his friends.

Jack has to delay his start, so the veggies and fruit and the juicer are with me, waiting my own renewed interest and experimentation. I recommend you watch the movie, the second half has the story of a trucker who was 429 lbs, and lost over 200 and regained his health. I will let you know what I learn. I already know that the micro nutrients in vegetables and fruit play an important part in my health thus far.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The beginning of holiday time

The list of those who died on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.
Off to enjoy a day with a friend, prepare for a visit from the Grandkids, and thank the Lord for the freedoms of this country and the price paid to preserve it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stayin Alive

Shave Ice and Banana Bread on the Road to Hanna, now that was a moment of sheer joy.

The death of Robin Gibb reminds me of those Bee Gee lyrics, Oh oh oh oh, Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive. This has been a rough week of being with people whose loved ones are dying. When you live at that inbetween place where the body no longer supports the life you so desire to keep, you find yourself facing the ultimate questions of life over and over again.

It is my contention that being reminded of our mortality is a good thing, and preparing for the inevitable departure from this world is not morbid unless carried to extremes. I was reminded this week of viewing the Dutch masters paintings, where those original Calvinists would place symbols of death like a skull in their paintings of life and prosperity to remind themselves of the illusion that you can keep it all.

My friend who urged me to get a colon exam still died this week of other causes, the cancer did not claim him but pneumonia did. I return to work this morning knowing that I have a healthy digestive tract but still live with the insecurity of heart disease.

The only hope for me is to live very closely tied to the doctrine of my union with Christ in His death and resurrection, and the promise that like the Bee Gees, I cannot stay alive forever, but I can live again through the faith and work of Christ.   Thusly can today be a joyful and life filled day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drowning in Gatoraid

Wow, that was fun, a 39 hour fast because I forgot to eat my last breakfast, and the cleansing cocktail of 2 64 oz green gator aid. It took me solid sipping from 12:30 to 10:00 pm to get through it, and of course it did the job with dulcolax and the other thing.

Thankfully I had no polyps or problems except for a bit of pitting from diverticulitis in one section.

The anesthetic works so fast that I lost 40 minutes, which of course I was happy to not be present in. I will not post the pictures of the inside of my colon, not ready for prime time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The prep is worse than the test

Iao Needle, Maui, summer 2010.

I have heard this before. Today is colonoscopy prep day. Liquids only, bowel cleansing after lunch, test tomorrow  morning. I will add my own reflections after this is over. Laura can no longer stomach lemon lime flavorings since having two of these tests.

I was urged to take the test by Ben, who sadly reached the stage where he was beyond medical help last evening. I await word from the family today.

One reason people procrastinate about tests like these is that we would rather not know about the possibility of bad news. A very human thing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The sadness of parting

Permanently docked at Pearl Harbor Hawaii next to the Arizona Memorial. Memorial Day coming.

Once again the pain of helping a grieving family say goodbye, and another tomorrow. It never gets easy for me, but the experience of helping a family deal with these things is one thing that reminds me of the importance of friends, and family and pastoral care.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My anchor holds

Spoke about the Anchor as a symbol of hope and safety. Ankura in the Greek language is similar in sound to Ee Kurios, in the Lord.  We are anchored in Christ.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chandler AZ celebrates 100 years as a city

Auwautukee to our west and north.

In our 23 years in the East Valley we have lived in Gilbert, Mesa, and Sun Lakes, and worked in Queen Creek. Chandler is our closest neighbour and we do most of our business and shopping here.

Tumbleweed Rec Center is preparing a big celebration this afternoon and evening.  I often joke with residents of the west valley cities that Phoenix has nothing past the airport I need. They do not appreciate it, and of course that means our football team.

That being said, the East Valley is huge and diverse and interesting.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tony and Ruby

Tony and Ruby are together again. Tony died in 2007 and Ruby this week. Just shy of 100. They had a thirty plus year retirement and enjoyed their life, their church and their family.

We were talking about Tony retiring at 60 as a teacher back when teacher salaries were under 20k a year. There constant habit of saving for retirement and his monitoring of investments caused their saving to last for a long, long. long. long retirement.

She was laid to rest beside her husband, a WWI bride reunited in death and the next life.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I have been reading again about the age old struggle concerning the origin of evil and misfortune. If God is in control is He not the ultimate One responsible for evil.  The beautiful girl who has a gash in her leg during a fun afternoon at the lake ends up fighting for her life and if she survives she will be permanently handicapped. Tough to deal with.

Every generation has a poster girl for these questions......ours was Joni Erickon, whose paralysis at 17 changed her life while her submission to God eventually created a very unique and very wide door for ministry. It still does not change the fact that everyday her activities are hindered and her pain is excruciating. One of the rare paraplegics who still experience pain her her back and limbs.

When these questions loom close to you, I think about the passage that I am expositing this weekend.

Hebrews 6: 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. 

Jesus suffering makes sense, not because God demands it, but because Jesus tasted it on our behalf and takes us to the place of hope that we will get through it. My heart gives thanks for Joni who has accepted her suffering, and for this beautiful girl from Georgia, who has so much to face.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dancing with the Stars

Some singers and dancers age well.....some don't, all in all the dancing thing is for the young.

An amazing comeback for dance, Laura loves watching it, and I love Laura. The talent is so awesome and the choreography inventive.

I enjoy the CSI dramas, and NCIS. Good guys catching bad guys has worked on TV forever.

The cliff hanger endings this week are not much payback for all the months ahead with no new programming, but that's the way it is.

The Emergency Room

The new wedding arch owned by SL Country Club Social Staff.

Spent a half hour in the ER yesterday with a parishioner, saw a woman holding a bloody cold pack on her head while waiting to see a doctor, several wired up middle age men having chest pains, some policemen no doubt arriving with wounded people in a crime or an accident, elderly couples with the ailing spouse sitting in wheel chairs.

If there is any place on earth where the frailty of the human body and the hazards of life meet it is there, and a team of nurses, aids, admittance staff, orderlies and physicians are tying to manage the chaos and get people to room and places to get help.

I feel a part of this team, so I pray shotgun prayers in every direction.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shipping Out

This beautiful bride is receiving flowers from a retired serviceman in honor of her wedding wows, and that, as an Air Force service women she is shipping out for a tour of duty in Qatar in three days.

Her new spouse will be taking care of a seven year old from a previous marriage and I was moved by all the symbolism in this wedding. A new family, a new chance, a couple to care for a young girl, a woman who joined the service to survive after a bad marriage.  I am glad to meet people this way and perform this service.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Paul is not a curmugeon

My wife enjoying a Maui sunrise. She is a wife and mom of excellence.

I attempted to shed some light on Paul's silence passages this morning and place them in context and cultural situation.  It helps to bring his statements into line with dynamics occurring in the first century church and city and not making those propositions become laws for all time. Great work being done by many in understanding the things Paul was protecting and modeling. The church of my youth went overboard to try to enforce these things through strongly taught traditions.

Things are changing for the good and we are seeing Paul's wisdom and new covenant mindset that would ultimately allow women to develop and lead the world as a example of Godliness and industry. Mom's rule.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pushing the wrong button

In this snap I show the results of trying to get the sand off my feet after a walk on the beach and push the wrong button of the shower, and thus become stained.

I have a problem. I do not believe Jesus wants us to fight culture wars. I do not believe all the efforts to reclaim America and establish the moral majority are working. I have the same desires as those who are putting all their efforts into these avenues, I just think they will not work the way they hope because they are so different than the way Christ and the new covenant approached the issues.

We are trying to separate ourselves and posture our superiority morally, when Jesus moved to identify with the weakness of others and show them compassion and power to change from the inside out. It is this whole inside out thing that I think we have missed the boat on.

There are many more capable of me who are warning of the problems with the failed strategy of the moral majority type thinking, and many younger believers are taking a different path which attempts to restore civility to our public discussion of our differences, a conversation and dialogue rather than a clash.

I fully expect the battle to intensify until the presidential election, and the words on both sides to continue to deepen the divide and further the spiritual effects of the clash of cultures. The way of Jesus is a third way, and I am holding on to hope that this quiet revolution with prevail over the rancor we see in the public square.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Checking the pipes is a good thing

The Marriott in Palm Springs CA,

Finally scheduled my first Colonoscopy, at the urging of one of my hospitalized friends who just had colon cancer.

Headed out to try to play the kind of golf I am capable of, and have not pulled of in months, hope springs eternal.

Not prepared for the early ridiculous reference to Mitt being unkind in high school. I do not think majoring our hopes in  politics and following Jesus are as compatible as many people believe. There is a way inbetween that has more power although it looks weak.

Happy Mothers Day Mom's.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We had a quick wind and rain storm yesterday that trashed the backyard and twisted my Topsy Turvy Tomato planter around on its post.

I felt kind of funny all day long and when I got home I found my morning medications sitting on the shelf. Oh the brain function blips got me wondering.

Making plans for vacation, half the fun is trip excitement before you launch. Taking your grandchildren allows you to bond with all you experience together.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A 90 year old beauty

I visited the home of a piano teacher to see her husband, and sat on the bench of a 90 year old Steinway grand piano. It still sounds beautiful and the open top revealed the technology that began to set the brand apart.

My friend indicated it badly needed some refurbishing but it still provided a place for another generation of young pianists to practice when they came to her house. Her son is a physician now but she told me he loves to play the piano his mom taught him from so many decades ago. I thought the whole thing was very cool.

Another friend shared a video of a recent Letterman where three brothers, 14, 12 and 9 played bluegrass. The Banjo player was so small he looked like he was holding a huge instrument, but when he played, he brought back generations of sound from our appalachian mountain heritage, where the fiddle, guitar, and bango got people through the hard life of making a way in our young country. Sleepy Man Band I think was their name.

Almost every night I listen to music when I retire to mask the raging tinnitus in my head, and on many occasions my sleep state is affected by the mostly instrumental music I choose, my dreams are literally intertwined with the melody. After an hour or so, I wake and know its time to turn them off and return to sleep.

Like the last line of a charming movie named August Rush, in which an orphan with musical talent is reunited with his musical parents.....There is music everywhere, you only have to listen.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An attack of nostalgia

Last night for some unknown reason I began to think about people from my past. Facebook allows the temptation as they find people who are hooked with my people. Memories are good, nostalgia can be less than good when you begin to think of what might have been.

For instance, I see pastor friends who stayed in the same church for decades while I moved from place to place leaving good friends behind.

I read about friends who spent their career teaching college age students and since I did that with great joy for a few years I wonder if I should have gone fully in that direction.

The cure for improper nostalgia which looks at the past with regret is to be thankful for the fact that your path is unique, and even if it zigs where other peoples zag, God was with you and you have much to be thankful for.

Then I look at missionary pictures of people living in cultures far less free, less prosperous, and I stop wishing for what did not happen and thank God for what did.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I have a yellow carpet

Our museum Palo Verde is in full bloom providing delight for bees and hummingbirds, and now that it has been blooming for several weekss. A gentle breeze brings a snow of yellow flowers to create a rich carpet.

I enjoyed using visuals on Sunday. This has been standard for fifteen years in most churches with the advent of digital theater projection systems but not in traditional settings previous to that.  Our building is not set up for it so we have to bring things in, set them up, and take them down quickly.  A number of people said they were helped by seeing the scripture while I was speaking.

It's a tool for learning, both audio and visual. Some churches have overdone it, but it has a real place in preaching and teaching in our generation.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Golden Moon

I enjoyed my annual effort to produce a decent moon shot. Tried all kinds of manual settings to capture the light. A full moon always commands my attention and a special one is especially enjoyable.

As I was giving up, my nose started bleeding, something that our dry weather has been happening a good bit lately. "No connection I am sure", he said in a draculean tone.

Enjoy you Sunday and the rest of this week. Use all you five senses while you develop your spiritual eyes, ears, nose, fingers and tongue to drink of the life aionian.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finding streams in the desert

I am always amazed when my life of study enjoys a serendipity, an unexpected find.  While looking somewhere for this, I find that, or am led to just the idea I desire to pursue. I feel like a detective of ideas and truths who has an unseen Helper showing me the way.

I have been trying to demonstrate that eternal life is not something that begins after death, but that the Bible speaks of that quality of age enduring life begin as we walk with the King indwelling us in this life,...and out comes a free E book that some website mentioned that I knew nothing about, which really develops the concept, and I am  blessed by the free offering of this man's heart and study.

I am pretty sure this continuous dialogue between my mind and heart and the minds and hearts of others, and the Mind and Heart of the One who does not dwell in temples built with human hands, is part of the essence of aionian life, life that endures the ages.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friend of a Friend

This is the storage area for Casa de Amor helping ministry in Mesa's poor neighborhood.

Sometimes you begin following a life online and you have never met the person in this E life. I have a person now whose life is crashing and burning with finances, health, unemployment. Hard to be connected to that pain. She is being prayed for and helped by some of her friends.

I hit rock bottom in the early 80s financially. I remember the anxiety and fear with the knowledge that I had mouths to feed and rent to pay. Those times are part of the plan of the ages, worse for some more than others, but it will provide such a great contrast when we are delivered.

In the midst of it though, God tells us not to say, Be well to those in the midst of those struggles but to help.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

God Bless the USA

I attended a Day of Prayer event this morning at our sister community Sunbird. Very well organized and presented with an excellent speaker, singers, and prayers.

Lots of confessions that we are on the wrong path, lots of Israel scripture about cleaning up our moral and societal act, yet lots of prayers that the country will not get what it deserves.

All these quotes about national repentance from a nation that in fact did not repent, did not recognize the day of their visitation, and were, in fact, judged through the loss of that nation.

Always feel tugged about in those situations.  I agree totally with the songs, God bless the USA.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Facebook tribute

The Koi Pond at The Point at Poipu Kauai, where we have enjoyed the island and hated the investment.

Well, I never bought Microsoft or Apple stock, both of which would have been nice, but I am not going to buy facebook stock either. The thing could be profitable, or it could dissappear in a week with some better thing or by making one too many stupid changes. No thanks.

What I do like is the opportunity to use the tool to thank someone from the past for their contribution to your life. I did that today for Mrs. B, my college and seminary speech teacher.

Saw an hour long documentary on the beauty of Washington State and the Seattle area and it was so good, but not one shot of a rainy or overcast day.  Was that false advertising? Thanks Eden.

Wow, the lawsuit against my timeshare made national news today and raised the issue of the ethics of the time share industry. The Point at Poipu was pictured in USA today.  I got my letter from them this week threatening to sue me for not paying what they asked. I sat down and counted how much my days of vacation cost me when I was told I was purchasing future inflation free vacations. Over $800 a night. Very interested to see how this thing will play out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday the week is already in gear and I am not

I kept trying to catch this toddler coming at me but he kept toddling to quickly back and forth. He was clearly in his own little world and enjoying himself immensely.

Too many thoughts playing billiards in my head to focus on one this morning. Took yesterday morning off to play a round of golf with soon departing friends and today I already feel like I am playing catch up. This is why I stopped the traditional Pastor's Monday day off decades ago.

Wishing April had lasted longer, everything was so fresh, breezy and springlike.

Should teachers say, "the bible says" when offering interpretations of theology? Probably not. When reading scripture publicly of course we are reading what the Bible says, but when we tell people how that verse fits in this or that view we should be honest and say that this is what has been taught or what I believe it means.

Listening to a prophecy teacher of long decades of teaching show how he finally saw America in Daniels prophecy and now as the final countdown to the end of the age is interpretation, resting on theological views and expanding upon them, and confirming them by reading news articles.

Discovering from talking to seniors in the hospital that more and more treatments and drugs are not being paid for by medicare and personal costs are rising, like most of us expected.

Made a new friend of present friends who is a cancer survivor living on "gift" time, longer than doctors expected. Makes you appreciate each day.

Encountered the term "angel investor", individuals lending money to business start ups that have a helpful effect on the world and meet needs. Nice idea.