Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Out of Sync

My high school car...Dad's old 58 Morris Minor, humbling but fun and it ran fovever on a couple of bucks of gas. I drove everywhere in that little blue racer.

I am struggling with head and heart issues lately. It is leading to a type of temporary depression, not clinical, just emotional. It seems that just about every issue I have ever wrestled with hits me in the face with every item of news, every casual conversation, every magazine article, every Facebook post.

All these issues make me truly not want to choose sides in the struggles over which almost everyone insists I choose sides.

All the people who are writing about fixing our problems by needing to repent or do this or do that depresses me even more than thier hopes for change.

I am losing my joy and desire to do things on my time off.....

and...I will deal with it, because I have been here before and the answers come fairly quickly upon the realization of my condition. Send a prayer up for me. I need to get back in sync.

Our Desert City on Display

Looks like we are going to have fine weather for the Phoenix Open this week. Over the years it has become known for the large crowds in attendance, and the crazy celebratory atmosphere around the 16 hole.

I used to go quite often but in recent years the crowds and parking just made it easier to enjoy the excellent TV coverage. Have not decided about Friday.

I have been on a break from playing for the last month or two. Hope to return with greater enthusiasm and better balance.

Concerned about our country, our economy, our leaders. Determined to walk in peace and hope.
An old family vacation to the Indianapolis 500 Speedway. I still remember looking at the old cars and driving a high speed in a van around the track to note its features. Americans sports are a part of our identity.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Did ThisI

I know I should have hired it out or asked for help, but I followed directions, found a stud, managed to hold the 30 lb. bracket long enough to get the bolts secured, hung the 40 pound plasma display by backing in and sighting the ridge upon which it rests, using my last once of strength to hit the mark.

Now to find an electric type to reset the power and cable behind the screen for a flawless installation. Not me, that I cannot do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ikea hiking

I try to avoid Ikea at all costs. I see hundreds of men following their wives out of love and obedience through that maze. I have been twice this week to purchase a gift for my son. There is a cruelty to the layout that perhaps shoppers delight in but me, I despise. You see, once you are in, you are in for the whole nine yards. I marked my paper, and asked for a shortcut to the gettin place, and even though I took the short cut I walked for fifteen more minutes.

Then I got to the furniture warehouse and had to back track to get the big cart, wrestle huge and heavy items onto the cart, wait in a huge line for almost half an hour to pay for it, and then wrestle it into my van without ever seeing a helpful employee. Its enough to turn you away from Scandinavian culture!!!!

They do make good and cheap stuff, which is why its always crowded and makes lots of money, but, as I said, men, avoid at all costs.

My first youth group graduating high school, Billy, back left is visiting Scottsdale next week with a convention and we will have a catch up visit.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A time not to touch

Playing a party game with friends on Friday.

Occasionally during flu season I have a no hand shake day. Wrap a hanky around my hand and remind folks to be careful. Laura had nine kids out with flu on Friday and I felt vulnerable.

The third full day of rainy weather made it feel more wintery that ever around here.

An interesting concert at the Lutheran Church where pieces featuring organ and brass were presented from the rear Balcony and filled the room with incredible sound and beauty.

Our son Matt has been with us for a few months to recoup and recover from a tough year in the northeast. We enjoyed each other as both parents and friends. He has moved to his own apt. to continue his life and work. It was good.

Loving my new TV but noticing a rise and fall in light levels during dramas that does not seem to occur during commercials??? A mystery we are studying. It is no fun to watch a show brighten and darken intermittently.

Off to a new week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Back Yard Puddle

A real life bugler.

Oh, the rare days when rain and a lazy day meet. We enjoy our Saturday coffee with no schedule demands,and luxuriate in the sweetness of the fresh rain that turns our yard into a minipond until it can soak under the plastic that keeps weeds from our rock yard from germinating out of control.

The drive to the cemetery was fun, and our service was dignified by a real live bugle player from taps. There is a shortage of bugle players at memorial cemeteries and it was a pleasure to hear the real imperfect breathes rather than synthetic electronic bugling. I served as camp bugler one summer so I know how hard it is to hit those notes without a warmup. Revelie being much harder than taps, but both symbolic of life. Get up and go to work.....work is over, over home and rest....

We also enjoyed an evening of fun and games with a bunch of couples last evening, a great day. Let the rain continue, it will be good for our spring time flowers in a month.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Laid to honorable rest

Behind my first pulpit.

Travelling again today to the National Memorial Cemetery to place a veterans ashes to rest with thousands of others who served their country.

I appreciate the military volunteers who pay a last salute and taps day in and day out for these families to have a memory and a place to remember in coming years.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Treatable problems

For the last month I have been dealing with an ache in my right leg that became very pronounced when I tried to sleep on my right side. It got so bad that I was dreaming about moving away from that pain while asleep. I thought maybe I am in the early stages of needing a hip replacement or some such thing and I struggled with it for over a month.

Yesterday I went to the chiropractor who helped me six months ago deal with a terrible shoulder muscle pull and I bragged about the type of therapy that uses the actuators as being far more effective than I ever imagined.

So, Doctor Don went through his diagnostic tests armed with my description, told me what was going on with my sacred illiac??? Just joking!!!!, went to work, showed me painfully where each nerve was firing pain.

Last night

I was remarkably better. Point today, before you suffer with long term pain, make sure it is not treatable. I feel silly for waiting so long to begin finding out what was causing the pain.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Kangaroo and a Joey in my House


We love Disney movies, we watched our first BlueRay version over the weekend. Brave, with all the wavy red locks of hair.

Just bought my second TV for our home. We have never made it a habit to keep a TV in our bedroom but in recent years I have been longing to relax on the bad and catch the news and an occasional movie. And hopefully Laura will want to do her evening grading back there as well.

Been with Dish Network for a long time, the installation guy said he has not seen a outside dish that old in years. So, when I was asking how this all works with multiple feeds I was introduced to the new products named for Australian Kangaroos.

So I have a tiny hideable box for the wall mount TV and I am studying the best wall mount brackets and looking to hide all the power and cable cords behind the TV.

By the way, viewing my personal photos on a larger HD TV is a pleasure and makes my vacation photography look almost professional.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What if?

Copied from website "The American Jesus" by Zack Hunt

What if for these next four years we as Christians pulled back from all the rhetoric and instead invested that energy into proclaiming good news?

What if we took seriously our call to pray for the President and stopped pretending like he was the anti-Christ?

What if we stopped placing our hope for the future in the passage of legislation and instead lived as if we believed we really are citizens of a different kingdom?

What if instead of defending our right to violence, we found the courage to wage peace?

What if we allowed the person on the other side of the aisle to be a person instead of our soulless enemy?

What if helping others in need, regardless of their circumstances, was something we stopped arguing about and, instead, became something we started taking as seriously as Jesus did?

What if the alien among us became someone to defend and care for, rather than a economic threat?

What if for Christians social media became a place to share words of hope, rather than an arena for destroying our political adversaries?

What if the church was a place of hope, compassion, and unity for the nation, rather than a source of division?

What if we had the audacity to allow the the Gospel to take precedence over the Constitution?

What if we put to rest being “Democratic Christians” or “Republican Christians” and, instead, for the next four years we were simply “Christians.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Respect the Office, pray for the man

We still look good.

I get a magazine given to all clergy called Liberty which rigorously reminds us that our nation has a true separation of church and state that has contributed to our liberty more than we realize.

Evangelicals like to think everything would be peach dory if we declared America to be a Christian nation, but I imagine the Roman Catholic implementation of that vision would be a great deal different that the Protestant one.

The diversity of our understanding of faith and obedience, the various cultural realities of our melting pot nation, would make any enforcment of one type of faith a disaster.

We can celebrate and affirm our Christian heritage and still maintain the seperation of church and state that has strengthened our country.

I also weary of the need for many conservatives to disrespect our currect President who was duly elected and reelected to the office. We sound like spoiled children pouting that we did not get our way.

We need to pray and participate and be civil for God's sake, civility is one of the most necessary virtues of a free society. No one agrees with all the stuff coming out of our leadership, but our constitutional government is still the greatest thing going.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Four More Years

Life is an adventure, put your helmet on and go live it.

My son Brian has great seats to the inauguration of President Obama. There were lots left from Arizona so he will be representing our state along with a friend from Tucson.
Looks like he will just miss freezing his buns off.

I wrestled today with a gracious God who no doubt has many things against our nation like abortion, who nevertheless cares about women being victimized and loves sinners enough to die for them. It's something only God can sort out, and He does and He will.

I know that the problems of the human heart and human condition will continue to befuddle our attempts to create just laws and both protect and liberate our people to enjoy freedom. It's something only God can sort out, and He does and He will.

I continue to be amazed at the grace that sought a wretch like me and allows Him to share that grace while human weakness and remaining sin still cling to this old saint and his congregregation in thought and word and deed. It's something only God can sort out, and He does and He will.

Grace and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An Evening of Music

After a delightful meal at Charleston's we made our way to the Casino Hotel in a venue that held 1400 folks to hear and see Lea Salonga, who has an A list voice IMO. She was charming and witty and connected her show tunes, ballads, and pop songs with stories that were funny and interesting. Almost 2 hours of music with a seven piece band.

She is only 41 but has been on Broadway for 25 years, quite a career with blockbuster hits from Miss Saigon, Les Mis, and Alladin. We enjoyed her immensely. She has been enjoying a revival of interest with the success of Les Mis and the popularity of the new Disney Cruise Ships. Her rendition of On My Own is the standard by which all others are judged.

We were a bit disconcerted by our seats. I paid the middle price thinking we would be fairly close and instead we got in bar seats on the back row near to much movement and noise. We were higher so we could see, but I felt a bit fooled by the seating chart on the website. It was a fine anniversary memory of the shared love of good music and performance.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I believe in love at first sight

I had been looking seriously and testing the dating waters for years, and praying often, and seeing a few relationships crash and burn, but when I saw Laura, and when we met, I was in love, and today we mark 38 years of companionship and life together.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


An example of rock outcroppings in the Payson AZ area.

Listening to a discussion of language which allows the use of exaggeration to make a point. "It took me forever to get to work today". The Bible has lots of metaphorical styles of language we need to pay attention. A harsh literalism of the language of scripture can really twist the meaning of truth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A fun summer ahead

Excited about some time in Mississippi and Florida with family in late June. Pensacola Beach plays a huge role in our family.

Enjoyed our annual Men's Breakfast this morning and heard about two ministries we support with time and offerings.

Doctor this week, Dentist tomorrow.

A special 38th Anniversary Date Friday to a concert with Lea Solonga of Broadway fame.She performed in Les Mis, Miss Saigon, and Alladin. Love her pure voice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How could this dude have so much influence?

I have been taking a break from big thoughts this month. Just enjoying life, reading some entertaining novels, wondering how I am going to lose the weight I gained from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I am amazed in my reading how often I run into thought traced back to Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, fourth century, as the source of a big theological idea. This dude was prolific in developing doctrine and his thought, right or wrong, has influenced all western thinking.

Example: Reading a review and some of the thinking of pastor/theologian Greg Boyd on "spiritual warfare" four views. I realized that I had been taught the following thought all my life. "God foreordains whatsoever comes to pass". This is like the foundation of all Calvinist thought about the knowledge and power of God. It causes Pastors to come up with all kinds of reasons why this or that thing was allowed by God.

Unfortunately this thought causes a great deal of pain when we question why God allowed the massacre of children in New Town, or any sort of question about theodicy, the reality of evil in the world.

Boyd apparently makes the simple point that we must realize that God is fighting evil, and there are evil things going on that are sourced by this ongoing struggle in creation. Evil happens because there is still a titanic struggle going on in the restitution of all things. God weeps with us when these events occur.

I have not started studying this issue, but the open theology debate is very interesting. Like the picture from days gone by, questions keep spinning around me and I keep looking up for answers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cold Weather

I moved below the Mason Dixon Line a long time ago and have enjoyed having my blood thinned to perpetually warm winters.

Today it is cold, below freezing early, which is quite cold with our chill effect with the desert and mountains.

Later this morning I will see the two Hope Coaches which have been driving around town distributing warm blankets to the homeless.

Seeing my cardiologist later for a six month checkup, not much weight loss during the holiday season, but I eat clean and exercise regularly.

The cold air is refreshing and the warmth of the heater like a good hug when inside.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Year at Church

Today we approved our new officers, new budget and renewed hope to be a Church where grace is taught and Christ is glorified in the Father's love.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our Tree

We have this huge tree that provides shade and distinction to our front yard, scraggly barked Mesquite that grows like a house fire. We pay to trim it back every year, and after the year ends it begins to drop every leaf, tiny little buds and spiny stems that look like pine straw, and it goes everywhere.

Today I blew and vacuumed and raked and bagged

about 200 lbs or so, enough to make my and my neighbors yard look presentable until it finishes shedding.

What it cannot know, is that we are seriously considering cutting it down and relandscaping the yard. Although the shade is nice, it is just too costly and messy to maintain past its 20 plus year life, we think.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day off doings

I actually have an ink stain on my shirt during my 17th year.

Breakfast with Mike a new friend who shares my passion for gospel truth.

Best Buy browsing, some cheap mood music, (spanish guitar), and...you guessed it, a half off remote control helicopter which is a blast to play with and share with the kids. Its the closest thing to controlling flight I will ever experience.

Taping some free weekend HBO, Cinemax and Showtime movies for future enjoyment.

Finished reading Water for Elephants and enjoyed learning about that crazy time in life just after the great depression and during prohibition and that impossibly odd lifestyle of the train circus. Good story. Especially when told as a flashback from a very old nursing home resident. Added reality to the story of lifes adventures.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The People's Choice

An image of a contented crawler exploring the textures of the back yard.

Standing on a stage, getting a beautiful piece of crystal, receiving thunderous applause and lots of money for what you do. It's called fame. And most of us would not mind terribly to be famous for a bit.

Nick Nolte recently stated that it was a curse for him in every way. The invasions of privacy, the strain and stress.

I am one of those Christians that do not despise culture. I understand it and agree that in its place entertainment plays a key role in our own lives, and can refresh us and divert us for a bit in a good way.

There is and always will be a cautionary tale in the story of fame, and some of those being adored will find great pain, shortened lives and even great sorrow for devoting themselves to the quest for center stage. I really do love many of those actors for loving their craft, and singers for their skill in setting our emotions of fire.

Enjoy the interests of current culture, don't get caught in the undertow. Hope that the worst parts that are dragging us down will die from being ignored.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Are we supposed to want to leave?

I serve Seniors, and we are nearing the end. And sometimes when I discuss prolonging life,
These two coggers helped me relearn golf in my first ministry. Bishop on the right died on the golf course.

one of my current hopes, I am reminded how much I should long for and be excited about leaving.....and I am not sure we have the right balance on that issue.

Being ready for the promised land does not in my thoughts to the Apostle Pauls eagerness to depart. I think this was the statement of a man who had already been told that his date with martyrdom was near.

I want to live another decade or so, just sayin. No disrepect to the Lord and His will.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Young Family years ago

Thanking God for a wonderful life as I peruse pictures from our first years of marriage. Ten days away from marking another year of marriage, and every day we learn something, we tease about something, and we laugh about something. Its good.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday back in gear

Office-my invaluable office assistant Genevieve returns to organize everything that fell into disorganization over her break.
My sister Judy is hoping for a family get together in June like this one over 30 years ago in Pensacola.

I am to photograph a local helping ministry for an upcoming report.

A long postponed teeth cleaning which I am sure the Dentist will use to drill and fill something.

The gym, to fight off the pounds gained during my period of cake, cookies and chocolate overdose.

Laura is reading a highly rated book about the iron curtain in Germany and the dude has incredibly difficult vocabulary. I discovered google has word pronounciations with its definitions that is really cool. I am reading Water for Elephants, and getting into it quite nicely

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My girl, Laura

It has been a long time since I have done a candlelit wedding. I loved that part where they were lit before the ceremony. My bride was probably helping and I asked her to sit for this shot in the late 70s in Crystal Springs, MS.

Laura spent her second of three two week breaks at home and heads back into the fray tomorrow. Always a delight to have more of her presence in the home, we enjoyed this Christmas.

Today in church I was trying to get the sympathy vote for our cold house last week and she was downplaying our suffering as usual. I was cold all week long, no matter what she says to the contrary.

In a week and a half we will hit the 38 year mark in our marriage. Where did the years go?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Man purse and New puppy Pepper

Here is my Coach shoulder bag. I like it.

Here is our kids new pet, Pepper, high strung and affectionate.

The Outlets at Anthem

This is 12 year old me and my sisters at the school in Troy Alabama where I had just begun to learn how to whistle dixie.

Yesterday began with the very good news that our heat pump was not broken, and had some more years to heat and cool the house, hopefully.

We decided to enjoy Laura's last weekday before heading back to the classroom by travelling to the northwest part of the valley to the Anthem outlet. My second visit, Laura's first.

We were surprised to be watching the deconstruction of the huge Christmas tree that landmarks the place each season. It is at least 150 ft tall and a living tree which was being delimbed and undecorated in a day long process involving a huge crane.

As Laura shopped and I walked and sat in the brisk January afternoon, comfortable outside but jacket weather,I was again thankful for the gift of life, the swirl of people, many were Oregon and Kansas State fans seeing the valley after their bowl game, and realizing that this mall provides a needed service for both its stores and the shoppers. Discounts.

The Coach outlet sells high end leather purses, bags and various similar items at greatly discounted prices. The salesman was telling me in the Mens Coach store that the two stores with the highest gross sales were in NYC and Cabazon Outlet outside Palm Springs were Laura purchased a handbag last summer. As I browsed the store, I saw one item that was calling my name. A slender manpurse designed for the kinds of things I carry with me when I am out, and at closeout price of over 60 percent off!!!

This is so much more functional than the electronics bag I bought from Staples, so I gave myself a present with Laura's approval. Pics to follow later.

Friday, January 4, 2013

News from past friends

My freshman year, Alex and I drove to Ft. Lauderdale Fl. for spring break, the first of many, and the song, Love Can Make You Happy was number 1. I developed a crush on his little sister Sarah. She came to our college and we wrote letters that summer but the spark never lit to a flame.

Sarah lost her husband of 37 years to melonoma cancer this week. I fell in love with her Irish Immigrant parents, her brother my best friend, and I am so grateful that Sarah has three children to help her through their loss together.

On a happier note, we dodged a bullet when our AC was not broken, needed a few capacitors and is heating normally. If we could get five more years we would be very pleased.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some thoughts

Christmas past.

I want our economy to grow and for people to make money in stock mutual funds. I am close enough to the end of my earning days to have moved our savings to indexed bond funds with principal and guaranteed returns. With all the up and down focus on the market and profitability I must still remind folks that last years 7 percent gains in the market were all in the first quarter, and when I left the market on April 17th it was 13,200, not much different than it was this week. Like most of you, I hope our government stops spending money it must borrow, but I sadly see no present moves in that direction. Taxes are going up, when it comes to money no pocket is too small to take more.

We enjoyed the cute movie, Roadtrip, because of the message of connection between lonely mother and lonely son. It takes a bit of stamina to stare at Barbra Streisand from a foot away for two hours, and her Jewish mother routine is as usual hilarious.
She can act as well as sing.

We burn those artificial logs in our fireplace for beauty and a tiny bit of warmth, and last week

we I tried Lowes envirologs, not even place out front, I had to go way back in the garden section to find them. They are paper, and leave fine weightless ash, burn hot and clean and are cheaper than duraflame. Give them a try.

Ate some Claxton fruitcake last evening, hats off to a classic southern product.

Heard that commenting was getting complicated. Please connect with me on facebook, or email me at donhendricks62@gmail.com, love to hear your responses to my thoughts

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 in a mirror darkly, at the beginning of the year

When I first got my 35mm, I wasted some time experimenting with it back in the late 70s.

2013 is already aged a day. As I read of feasts and celebrations I tell you that we very rarely go out on New Years eve. New Years day saw Laura at the mall and me relaxing during the parade and not watching any football, just a few shows and lots of reading.

Our Heat Pump has apparently died of compressor failure, so we have some space heaters warming spaces while the house cools to the low 60s. Probably Monday before a replacement, but the days still warm up and we are fine.

I am finishing Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. I marvel as his ability to weave ideas and themes and events and ever objects and sayings into his creation of characters. The book is actually four different tales, and the first was made into a charming coming of age movie starring Anthony Hopkins, well worth renting.

The larger subject is what the war in Vietnam did to American youth coming of age in the 60s and how much it changes even todays world. I remember almost every day of college and graduate school my low draft number was a quiet motivation to stay in school, and the rebellion against authority was real in that of all the wars we have entered since, this one has the flimsiest connection to just war, and it really alienated a generation....my generation....where the cost of war and government largess may darken the retirement hopes of a huge mass of post WWII baby boomers....ie. me, talkin bout my generation.