Hawaii 2010

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Kindle Fire

Kindle paperwhite becomes gift, Kindle Fire on sale with year end Prime cash savings and I have it for my reader. I always wanted to try reading a magazine digitally, so I ordered Prevention and its quite nice.

I remember the Christmas of 58, I got a car that exploded when you crashed it into a dozen pieces, and the snows of Oneonta NY, I loved those brief years in NY.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

At the Gym

I have been struggling to get back into the habit of exercise after my time away with minor health issues. We are watching a major project as they are providing hundreds of covered parking spaces for our use for free. The beams that will support the project are huge steel I beams....because atop the roof is a solar energy project that I am assuming with provide electricity for the 20 acre recreation center.

At the gym I start by walking around the track to get my circulation going and to lead to a stretching period. As I walk I watch people. I am in year four and many faces are familiar, although most go nameless, we smile and say hello and do our business.

Yesterday the window to the small exercise room is uncurtained and I can glance left on each circuit to watch childrens class. The leader is very young, tall and slender and wears loose fitting and very outrageously stylish clothing. Her hair is punked and her eyes are darkened with lots of eye make up. She is a character, I can tell, and with each glance I watch her lead these kids to move and stretch and dance wildly, then she sits them in a group and teaches them about the importance of eating healthy food and continuing to move and play at home.

She is very good at what she does, masterful, and her love and concern for them lead the class to be very popular with parents who want their children to grow up healthy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Heart Breaking Realities

A women in a care home calls and tells me her friend has not answered her phone for two days.

I drive to the house and bang on the door loudly and wait, I find the door unlocked an cautiously open it and yell her name loudly, a number of times.

I enter cautiously, and try to detect the odor of death to steel myself if that is to be my discovery.

I find the living room, den and kitchen empty and three closed doors down a short hallway.

Which to open, the right, and....there she is finally responding. On the couch I find what I already knew, she cannot see or hear very much. She has a lifeless sad countenance. Her living son moved to Mexico for the cost of living and never checks on her. She has lived too long, all her friends are gone, she eats only once a day, faints often, catches the service bus to Walmart to buy food, and sits...and waits.

This is a burden in aging communities.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Month of Very Special Music

I was not raised in a family that listened to music. We had a cheap record player with a few albums and I would place the removable speakers tilted together and put my head between them for maximum stereo. Beach Boys as I remember.

I was very jealous when my friend Chris got a clock radio with at the time larger speakers. I never collected any personal music during college, and when cassette tapes replaced vinyl I had a small collection. Mostly a car radio music man.

Digital changed all that. The CD was strong enough to withstand my careless handling and hot car, and music has grown into a major part of my life during precious moments in my day. And the Ipod, my classic will be four this Christmas, we have Ipod players in the kitchen, study, and bedroom, and always near me when I leave home in my carry case. I shop sales, used and save for special ones.

All my Christmas music is loaded and playing, as it will till after Christmas day. i have close to 500 songs from all genres, classical, pop, traditional, celtic, and each plays a role in bringing me into the season and the truth of Emmanuel.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Moesta Ministry

What a lovely weekend have a reunion with Doug and Lydia and listening to a great concert.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Weekend Reunion

Over 20 years ago Doug and Lydia M came to our little church in Gilbert to do a concert. They had four boys crammed into a Toyota truck with a cabover 14ft camper.
We were only together for two days but we bonded, and then lost touch over the years, til he was with an old friend who knew me and we reconnected.

Doug and Lydia will sing for us tomorrow, kids all grown, nine grandkids, and both of us have lots of water under the bridge but we are still going.

They are driving a 38 ft. Motor Coach that is something to behold, and we are bonding again. This summer we will visit with them when we go to Pensacola FL. I am looking forward to the music ministry of the Moestas tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

After the Dinner is over

Happy Thanksgiving from the Hendricks/Trottiers

It's a Wonderful Life

I begin this Thanksgiving Post as the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade begins. It is like a constant, a yearly place to pause and reflect. It is a positive statement on what makes us special, our ability to celebrate the culture, with balloons, bands, and music. It is quintessential America, and I love it. I love Al Roker, I love to see NYC recovering from the blow and helping others struggling to recover.

I am so thankful to have family, we are seperated and small, but our love is real and we honor our families now passed into the other life for raising us the best they could. I loved the 60s with all its culture wars, I loved the 70s when God gave me a wife and family of my own. I loved the 80s when I was struggling to see how I fit in a changing world, I loved the 90s when I moved west, hit the wall, and found life on the other side of the trainwreck. I have loved the 2000s when God showed me the full story of His amazing love, even in the midst of life threatening heart disease.

Cherish life, have faith, live fully in the moment, love what is.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What is the point of Thanksgiving?

Contrast. You know you have something that others do not. Be it freedom from war and hunger, loving family and stable situation, health and happiness.

But you remember that at many times in your journey you were hurting, you lost a loved one, a job, friends, and everything looked bleak, and you struggled to be thankful for life because the tests and challenges were so great.

Contrast is something God had to give you so you and He could realize who we are, and we can realize who He is, for grace has no meaning apart from law, and comfort has no meaning apart from suffering, and life has no meaning apart from death.

So, when Desmond said "See you in another life brotha", it is because we know that this life has pain and loss and need and sickness and weariness and war and death and violence, and we know and sense that the sweetness of the next will be sweeter having travelled through this harsh, broken and yet precious and beautiful world.

That....is the point....of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marine Graduation Day


I am looking at pictures of my extended family, which, as we live on opposite parts of the country, have raised families that I do not personally know. The Pictures at Paris Island, do however, connect us to that great tradition of sending our sons to serve in the US military.

I see my sisters children's children and see the family resemblance and remember vacation visits when those kids now grown up with grown up kids swam in the pool with floaties on their arms, and the long connection of life gives me the tiniest fleeting glimpse of how God sees people and their children from his prospective.

He knows the world is broken, has been broken for a greater purpose, and knows that some of His children will leave the smiles and pride of Marine training to see some of the most destructive and ugliest parts of humanity at war.

His heart must break like a mothers heart, full of both pride and sadness knowing that our sons have been trained to be the first to hit the shoreline of hostile lands and people. But you know that their are greater purposes going on above it all, the fight for freedom, for human dignity, and so you keep sending them to do their share. I hope to meet that young Marine some day and thank him for serving our country.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Note books and notepads

Hanging out for an evening with teenagers reminds you of the passing of time. Teens always believe they are at the cutting edge of life and ready to take it on with that blend of confidence and insecurity so common to the teen species. They are adults, but very young ones.

Every year of my education was recorded on notebooks with pen, pencil and ample number of daydreaming doodles. We had no personal computers, no laptops, no phones to text messages to friends. All these things are so much a part of todays teens that they would not be able to imagine life without them.

I still love teens and am so excited to see a fine group of kids learning to praise God and perform before crowds and gain confidence for their own race, their own journey in a world a lot different from mine. I hope I never forget how new and fresh and exciting it was to be that age, and I hope to gain as much from where I am currently....and very thankfully, with my own array of digital products that allow me to connect with folks from my past and present. Enjoy this short workweek and another American Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Rule of Contrast

Been reading about this issue of God's plan to give us contrast as part of the good news. The only way to judge good is in the presence of evil, and healing in the presence of pain, and mercy in the presence of judgment. God created the adversary and human history as the opportunity to struggle against evil, to be tested in order to rule,and to be hardened in order to have faith of gold. Its a powerful idea.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Packed Theatre Applauds Movie

I saw "Lincoln" yesterday and once again Spielberg and company have achieved a marvel in historical recreation.

The struggles with racial inequality looked and felt so real, as did the ways in which the political struggle to pass the 13th amendment involved raw semi legal wrangling.

No one really knows how Lincoln looked and sounded but this is how one would hope he looked and sounded, with his homespun education and inate wisdom and kindness. It was an award winning performance.

The Whitehouse as it was without power, full of candles with one or two early lightbulbs, and the press room being dominated by Morse Code, the visceral reality of the war scenes, stunning.

Most of all the dialogue and the drama of a gut wrenching time in our history was brought to life as powerfully as I could have hoped. I am so thankful to be living in a time when this kind of film can be made with such realism.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankfulness is a discipline that sets us free

My parents were married on Thanksgiving and he left wife and child to fight in the war, and everything about the way we take a day to celebrate our unique past and national history is good. We live in a time when many have reminded us that not everything is perfect in the story of our development as a nation.

The Indians welcomed the Pilgrims but the end of the story is not so pleasant.

The farmers cultivated the land on the sweat and tears of people they believed were less than human.

We fought about that.

You see where I am going with the place we find ourselves in this unmasked view of history.

But this next week, can simply be about my family, and our connection to our parents, and how their struggles to live and work put us in places where we lived, and learned and experiences the joys and sorrows of life. We came to believe in God and faith and love, and we saw that this flawed
country is still a great country, a free country, a diverse country, a blessed country.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Mayan Calendar

A Couple used this popular wedding spot for a sunset wedding last saturday, during a very windy and cold evening as a front was passing through....felt sorry for them, and for me and Ben who were playing pitch and putt nearby with too little warm clothing, we lasted three holes and headed home for cocoa.

So a king in this dead culture wanted to assure his people that his reign would last long past the present so he placed himself way into the future, Dec. of 2012, long past the actual survival of his own race.

And wacky doomsdayers picked up on it and made it legend.

The hatred between Israel and the muslim nations, now that is something that we all need to be concerned about and work on solving if humanly possible. This mutually assured destruction will spread way beyond those disputed borders.

And, sadly, and hopefully, we may want to examine whether the "land" promises in the scripture really extend into the new covenant???????

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Sleep Number is 40

Busy day, Bible Study, Choir, Missions meeting, and a wonderful round of golf at the Foothills at Auwatukee, a new course for me and one of the collection that my discount card honors.

This evening we got two larges boxes UPS, which contained a brand new foundation and cover for our 10 year old sleep number bed. It has been a great part of our life and the original cover was really in need of replacement. We think it will function more like new, as my side had begun to sag with the weight of me truly.

Politically, things are hoppin in the news, both international and financial and scandal.....an interesting time to be alive. I am praying and hoping.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The joys of E reading

I consider myself a lifelong student, a lifelong learner. I read when I get moments free from other duties, I read early and late, I read when sitting with Laura and watching something she likes and I am OK with on TV but not that interested in.

I have collected books my whole life, and it was big last month to let almost half my library go on to others. Ran out of shelf space, and needed to let those books that would not be consulted again go on to other hands.

In the near 2 years since I bought the Kindle I have purchased and read 70 or so titles, and have several bible translations available as well. Its just too quick and easy to switch between books.

When my Kindle died of pixel failure I just replaced it with the paperwhite Kindle, and now the backlit screen adds to my reading pleasure since it came a few days ago. It is lighter, and easier to bring along than the tablet computer, and the touch screen makes navigation a breeze. To have all 70 titles in the Amazon Cloud means I can be selective to what is and is no longer loaded. Amazon prime has a large lending library. It's all good, and I hope intellectual property will find a way to make E books profitable for the writers as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Busy Monday

Laura had the day off and told me not to bug her, so I stayed out till coffee time.

Prepared bag lunches for the Phoenix Rescue Mission this morning, met for lunch with the team returning from Casa de More mercy ministry in Mesa, got Laura's car serviced.

Stopped at Zia records to purchase some used CDs, my favorite way to collect music.
Got three Yanni's to add to my new age sleeping music. Yanni is always beautiful but sometimes a bit too upbeat to lull me to lullaby land. Still love it.

I now own two Albums by Ladysmith Black Mombaza, I am so entranced by South African vocalizing and these men are wonderful. These add to the songs on the Paul Simon CDs. 40 years together and still being led by the original director.

Charlotte Churches adult album was fine, and a Barbara Streisand Christmas Album for Laura who loves her. I don't care if she is Jewish, she will one day bow the knee joyfully to Jesus when she sees Him as He is. Nice collection.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1600th Post

I started this blog in August of 2008 after returning from my 40 High School reunion and I have posted pretty much a thought or reflection each day. About 30000 plus hits, which means 20 to 40 folks a day. I find myself enjoying this and forgetting to put things on facebook, I should try both, and as one friend reminded me, blogs came, made a splash and are drifting off into the horizon of old news.

I love sharing a picture and a thought.

Can't believe how quickly this year has gone, just a few fast weeks to 2013 and in March a 10 Anniversary of moving to Sun Lakes.

This summer we had back to our beloved south for a visit to MS,AL and FL panhandle and hopefully to see some sisters and relatives.

Living with advancing heart disease is strange, I find myself trying to get ready for a sudden exit on somedays, and hoping for many more years on others. The part that is in my hands, diet and exercise and stress reduction I work on daily, the other part, I think about in both sadness and resignation, which had I more faith, would be anticipation of the next stage of the journey.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Angry old men

I accept all points of view on my Facebook page, but I have a few acquaintances from my theological past who are having trouble accepting the results of the election. One in particular has been unemployed and I guess has had too much time to ruminate because he posts 10 to 20 political links and photos in a row on most days, and it gets a bit wearisome. I guess that's why there is an unfriend option.

I always felt link my generation was special, the baby boomers, because we came along after the war and were a large demographic. I felt like we were especially blessed to live in such prosperity in-spite of some really expensive regional conflicts, (called wars even though they were not declared as such).

It could be that the boomers will be the victims of our own numbers in our last decades and be the group that gets cut out of the benefit line. Who knows?

I just am waiting to see how it all shakes out, and sensing that there is something wrong with the approach of those who feel God has lost control of everything because the liberals are in power. It frankly shows a lot of weakness in your view of God and your understanding of history, and perhaps too much focus on doom and gloom theology.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I blog instead of posting on facebook

I love this picture. Laura got too close to the edge of the volcanic shore and got drenched by a crashing wave. We were on a day long trek and would not even allow her to go home and change.

Facebook frustrates me because people do not have enough room to put in the backstory. Yesterday a friend I no longer see in my present life said she was in a relationship, and I did not even know she was out of her old one, the one that produced her family.

She represents a growing subset of folks I know who have walked away from her old way of life in church to find meaning and freedom and it seems that the freedom comes with a high cost.

I cherish the freedom of faith and often chomp at the bit against legalists who try to spy out my freedoms and repress them with petty mores, but at the same time there are some ledges that we can fall from that really impact the lasting foundations of love and commitment to God.

Facebook allows you to announce you are in a relationship, but breaking vows is still breaking vows, and I am sad for all involved.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Loving what is

I don't have the knowledge or desire to figure out why conservative views have slipped to 35 percent of the population. I must learn to live with this present reality.

My hope is in that lovely mandate in the epistles about our leaders. Please let us live quiet and peaceable lives in the world? That is about all I have left in me, living the last few holes of the back nine with grace and peace as much as it is in my power to do so.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An eschatology of Grace

Well, we did not get an eschatology of renewed hope to bring back America, and this will no doubt reinvigorate those who have an eschatology of doom and gloom. Here comes the judge will be the mantra of many.

Not me. I am totally convinced in the eschatology of Grace. I am a minister of a new covenant, a grace covenant, and I am humbly learning that grace wins, because it is empowered by love and hope way deeper than political hope.

It understands the weakness of the flesh and refuses to rely upon it. It embraces God's desire to spread compassion and kindness and freedom from fear. It does seek to lift up those who are struggling and to heal those who are hurting.

The political divide in our country is real, and will continue to be a hot topic, and the economy will still be crucial to our future, but grace calls me to be inclusive, no longer red or blue, but red, white, and blue. Grace calls me to keep my eyes on the other countries of the world and seek their good in ministry and mercy and mission.
Grace calls me to "be the change I desire to be in the world".

Grace calls me to hope that national health care actually works??? Because the slim mandate will keep us moving in that direction. And of all the services this aging dude needs, life extension is a big one.

Grace calls me to be hoping that our president moderates some of his extreme left views, and to pray for him and the leaders of our republic....and to enjoy life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I have friends in both places

No, this post is not about Hell and Heaven, its about the belief that Christians should or should not be involved in politics.

Over on the anabaptist side their are those who dissavow voting as an act of worldly power and trust in this worlds failing structures and insist the best thing we can do is stay above the fray and labor for the Kingdom in love, peace and compassion.

Far more of my friends see the voting booth as the way we do battle for justice, truth, and biblical values and we are duty bound to find the candidates and parties that most closely reflect those values and do all we can to save America from itself.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate conservative, for what thats worth. I am also kind of hopeful that the land of my birth can be a place for individual freedom and opportunity to enjoy some prosperity. I have seen poverty up close and it's not something to covet for its sanctifying effects, and I also have the compassion to hope that others can break free from poverty, war, and strife to get free. And I am not quite sure who can pull those things off. Maybe only those invested in the peaceable kingdom who can let there light shine a bit wherever they are.

My fear is that whomever wins, our nation will continue to divide and attack and poison our freedoms with divisive party spirit. There is room for both sides in this nation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Post Millenial meanderings

As long as the ancient scriptures have been pondered we have wondered about how this current age ends. The most popular views contain grim pictures of apostasy and war and a final battle. I grew up in a tradition that offered other views and was quite suspect of this popular end times view.

Some of my fellow students followed a view called post millenialism, and they had lots of scriptural reasons for defending it. This view calls for the gradual and steady influence of good and God creating a wonderful future for us as we slowly learn that God has made us one and that the world really works when we work together.

Its not completely Utopian, we still have renegades, but people become for civilized with education and progress and the gospel influence, and life on earth is good.

We forget that much of Jesus teaching was to create abundant life here. And on this day before we see the course of our near future I cast a longing look at that view and wander why we are always to be full of hope, there must be power in hope.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This is the Pratt Family, my mom's youngest sister and Tom and all the kids at a wedding I was privileged to officiate several years ago. Gregg and Marcias oldest daughter Liz died this morning of acute liver failure and brain swelling. She was beautiful and smart and loved people and the Lord. She is dressed in purple. I was so impressed to meet her and am so sad for the family.

See you in another life, brutha!

I have been watching Lost reruns a bit during my recuperation from this lung infection.
This line is repeated several times between Jack and the Australian friend Desmond. It is in many ways the theme of the series. Is the island a purgatory, a place where people are purged of weakness through trial and the necessity of putting the needs of others above out own? Does love win?

Life is a test in many ways, and next week half the voting population with be elated and half deflated but everyone of us will keep on keeping on the next day and the next, unless of course Dec. 21st is the end of the world.

For Sunday communion service I have been reading the creed and writings of ancient scholar Athanasius and of a contempary reflection on the writings by Baxter Kruger called "The Undoing of Adam". I believe something far greater took place in the covenant of life between God and His son than most, that the death of Christ was not just placing a gold ring out their on this merry go round life for the fortunate few to grab, but it was the radical statement of a Prodigal Father who will not rest to all his children are reconciled to Him. Its a fit and glorious ending to the love story between our Trinitarian God and his Lost children of Adam. "See you in another life, brutha"

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Party Spirit

A conservative mind wants social justice and economic freedom, a liberal mind wants social freedom and economic justice, and I did not say that but it just about sums up the differences between both groups.

Can we really say one is dead right and the other dead wrong. Are not there situations where each would be important?

The belittling of each view is demeaning to both, and I am tired of all those who try to make our differences so great as to create enemies among us.

There's a thought war going on in my world of Christian thought as well, you just can't seem to get away from the party spirit anywhere.

Reminds me of the old Beach Boys tune, there's a place where I can go to tell my problems too, in my room, in my room. Someday's I just need to tune out the squabbles and just live.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not waiting for the end of the world

My author friend Julie Ferwerda has a fine post on hospice care and dying and she introduces an old Jewish saying. Tikkun Olam. which means Heal the World. It shares the same theme as another book I read recently that says, at the bottom line, in reversing the effects of Adams curse through the second Adam, "we are our brothers keeper".

So, for me, that means I must develop my own plan for going forward next week, and not get sucked into the worldview of whomever is weeping or rejoicing after the election campaign of 2012.

I have a far higher calling and much deeper purpose, one that thrives in good times and bad, one that can walk right into the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. I am a member of the Kingdom of God, and it embraces the world in all its brokeness and brings a message and an action the Jews called Tikkun Olam, I am here to heal the world and to be healed in the process.