Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

A reforming NOT Catholic

Please understand that we all deal with the things we learned when we were young. As a seminary student in the Reformed tradition many of our teachings were reactions to Roman Catholic teachers. We constantly rehearsed the drama of the Protestant reformation, the evils of the suppression of religious freedom that occurred and the violence in the name of the church that left a black mark on church history.

In recent decades I have applauded the move of that church to allow Bible Study and its attempts to deal with the issues of child abuse, and have seen the real faith of many practicing Catholics, as well as the real need for many to leave the church of their youth and embrace a non denominational approach to faith.

I am unable to end my disdain for the robes and glitter and pomp and circumstance and massive treasure of that church, its just not something I saw in the carpenter of Nazareth except for a momentary ride into Jerusalem for the last Passover feast. It is therefore fascinating to me how much the media loves all things monarchical.

I also have a concern for Protestant popes whose every word and book are followed by thousands, but that is a different issue.

Still trying to understand and follow the command of Christ to love one another, which is how the world will know we belong to Him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Balance and overload

Since the turn of 2013 I have been ramping down my search for truth to let ideas settle and to realize that the mystery of God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself has the meaning and extent that God intends whether we push or shrink those limits in our own mind.

The following quote, however, serves to remind us how important this task is to our own well being.

Your image of God creates you. ~Richard Rohr

I noted in a morning study that a large group of Christians meet year to hear the gospel preached in which the bondage of the will to sin is a foundational framework. We are broken and need rescued, we will not find our way home without help.

Today my group largely affirmed that without free will, the whole gospel falls apart. Any election only involves God foreseeing those whom will respond to Him and loving them, and freely allowing those who will not to meet their own deserved destiny. Not rescuing the helpless but offering that which must be freely received.

Some comments were made as the the frustration of not being able to agree which of these arguments has the strongest support.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday, Monday

The remains of our large front yard tree.

Return to golf,moving to monday afternoons for a few months, and enjoying a bit of renews joy as some old habits have fallen away with my two month break from the game, and some encouragement from my golf partner, Marvin.

We saw your boobs?

We live in an interesting time,as to our pop culture and changing mores and values. So much of last nights Oscars were a celebration of fashion, story, cinema and skilled acting.

Yet there is this sophomoric teen age dirty mind thing obsessing the new young hollywood that is so silly it is amusing. To be truthful, I had no idea who Seth McFarlane is, nor do I desire to see movies like Ted anymore, but he could sing and dance with the most classical of presentations in the midst of his really lame jokes.

It was entertaining.... and to me Hollywood will always be like a party for the cool kids from high school, who matured early and were popular. The Hollywood world is glitzy and self absorbed, and it is not the real world, and you pay a great price to be a star.

That being said, there is something about the way some people practice celebrity that is endearing. I like Sally Field and her ability to change through her career. I love Meryl Streep, I love Morgan Freeman. And something about Jennifer Lawrence seems special, and yes, someday she will probably show her boobs.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Way behind in watching movies

We saw Les Miserables, Lincoln, and Skyfall and then hit a long dry period on the last spate of OSCAR worthy pictures. We enjoy the awards and having a cold windy day to stay indoors.

I am enjoying the new international flavor of the Women's PGA, there was some talk about the Asian invasion hurting the game but their decision to sell it as a truly world class tour is working, and the personalities of the Asian golfers and their countries and courses is quite nice.

John and Mary Gyger sang for our Friendship Banquet Recently.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our tree during the pretty time of year

From a distance that Mesquite tree was quite shady and pretty after it was cut back and regrew a green canopy. You can see why it was a sad decision to let it go.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I think that I shall never see....

a tree as messy as our old tree.

She had beauty, our old Mesquite,

but could never, never be neat.

Grow and grow like a weed in spring,

much money was needed to trim her and clean.

So today, with sadness and the roar of chain saws,

Arbor Care dissected her, and carried off the logs.

No more shade for our summers of heat,

but no more debri to cling to our feet.

We will miss you, you huge scraggly thing,

the birds you held and the place you shaded,

but the poop they left and the sap we hated.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Makes sense to me

It was always the heart of the Father to draw all His creation into falling in love with Him. Religion has held a gun to the head His creation and demanded a hard cold choice to love or face eternal punishment....Do you really think that kind of forced love just to avoid torture would please the heart or ever even be the plan of a true Father?? ~ Don Keathley

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Back after a Break

OK, I am back, needed to break my addiction to daily posting.

Spiritually, still struggling, but that's part of the journey.

Physically, I think I am having muscle reactions to doubling my dose of lipitor, I feel achy muscles.

Returned to golf with joy, after some nerves some really decent ball striking. Greens at Palo Verde, lightning fast.

Have good friends cruising the Hawaiian Islands this week, very happy for them.

Have good friends enjoying a new car and a snow day in Kansas.

Reconnected with friends from Prattville Ala, who got married one month after Laura and I in 1975. Saw there wedding pictures, and am posting one of ours.

Our Mexico build folks are back with a young girl who will be helped at the Tuscon Medical Center with heart problems, a miracle.

Having what is probably our last cold spell today, snowed out golf in Tuscon, how strange.

Saw a heartwarming movie on Amazon, Morgan Freeman in a Rob Reiner film The Magic of Bell Isle, totally engrossing family film with heart and soul.

Reading a book on the importance of keeping metabolism running on high, taking my temp and discovering I am no longer 98.6 most of the time, much cooler, working on it.

Enjoying borrowing a book a month from Kindle, reading an award winning novel about New Oleans and the voodoo culture.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making small talk

I admire folks whose blogs have made them powerful. Read by hundreds of thousands of people monthly, funded by advertisements. This blog is just about my daily life, its like making small talk. Like the internet phenomenon, its also about visual communication. Facebook was plastered by pictures of a pretty damaging tornado that hit the campus of USM Hattiesburg yesterday. Its the next best thing to being there.

Its also been pretty darn daily in my life since my 40th High School Reunion four plus years ago, like a superstition, if I don't do this every day something will go wrong.

I am not much into the religious idea of giving up things for God, as I see that He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts. But it just may be possible that if I give up a practice for a bit, He make have something more to give me when I take my routines and put them aside for just a bit. Maybe that's the spirit of the Lenten pre Easter concept. Making more mental and emotional time to commune.

So, I am taking my first break from sharing my daily life, there have been some signs that I am out of sync enough to make some changes and I need to get refocused apart from this small act of daily reflection. I will be back.

If you have something to ask or share, Amazon, and tons of daily adds will share their dominance of my email space. Just email me at donhendricks62@gmail.com

I saw some pictures of whole families sitting in restaurants, with each one staring at the screen of a smart phone. This internet world is amazing, and addicting, and I will never say it was or is a mistake, for it has opened up our voices and ideas to the world. Its the stuff of reformation. I am saying it will survive my contribution for a few weeks. Blessings of Springtime to all.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Orleans Jazz Sunday

Every year our Jazz musicians seem to be sharper and more creative, and the old jazzed up hymns fill the room with a unique kind of celebration that has become meaningful to us.

Friendship Dinner tonight, spring Baseball not far off, a great time to be in the desert southwest.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

To late to catch up

Billy and I became friends when I was 26 and he was 16, over the last 30 years we have had some mutual vacations and golf outings and had kept up with our families. We have both been gone from the church that linked us so long, that even though his mother still lives and attends the church at 90, most of the folks that were active have become really ages or passed on. Billy just hired the son of another youth group member, so, we do not really have a pulse on the church, just shared memories that were good.

Of course we have our adult experiences of the church in commmon, his as a long time treasurer and deacon, and the parents of kids in the youth ministry.

I have a friend who returned to his home church after years in Univeristy ministry and he is surrounded with relationships that extend from one generation to another.

That is the one thing that I gave up when we left our home in the south. Out here, when you leave a church, bunched of people you served drift away and keeping in touch with old friends has been rare. Thus my joy that Billy and I have kept in touch.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blood Test Results

Diabetes control over the holidays, slipped one half point in the wrong direction. Cholesterol, better but not good enough, so stronger levels of present meds.

Scary truth finally known. I suffer from the genetic type of LDL-c called small dense particles which make plaque production more prevalent. I strongly suspected it and the doctor ordered the less common test that shows its presence. Once again, borderline too high.

Eating habits much improved, weight loss negligible. what else is new????

Will start recording what I eat for discipline purposes, and keep trying.

We must all agree??

My cat has hijacked my reading chair.

I am leading a Bible Study where people come from different churches and backgrounds, and someone lamented that it does not seem right that the Holy Spirit would not lead everyone to the same understanding of scripture. I have been leading Bible studies and attending them for a long time and I can sympathize with the hope, but find the reality quite different.

The Catholic church used to believe and practice that the common man was too ignorant to interpret the scriptures correctly and thus needed the church to be the final authority in matters of belief.

The reformation believed in the priesthood of all believers, and placed translations of the scriptures into the hand of everyone eventually, and....we have developed many different denominations, traditions, theologies, and disparencies in our understanding of the Bible.

I am certain is is quite comforting to sit with a group of folks who all were taught the same thing in the same way and can amen each other as they all see the same meaning in each passage. I know that because once I was in a group that had all the truths worked out and encoded in a confession that we all were expected to endorse.

Once I left that world I found widely different methods of reading, interpreting and understanding the Bible and have encountered many less than harmonious discussions of the meaning of this or that truth.

Once I began to read and study other folks ideas about God and the Gospel more widely my own understandings have been expanded and have changed, and the very discussion of those changes makes folks used to sweet and harmonious agreement on all things are suddenly not having as much fun.

For someone whose basic personality is geared toward peaceful agreement I find discussing and debating different views at times less than pleasant. Disagreement leads to disunity and to breaking of fellowship with people who have always assumed there way is the only way to see things. This whole process of struggling with understanding is really what "reformation" is all about. Truth is reached in discussion, and sometimes disagreement. It is easier to quit a bible study that to stick around till more understanding is reached these days.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life is in the blood

I went to have my blood drawn last Friday and the results will be analyzed at the office of my GP tomorrow. I am a bit anxious and a bit hopeful because I have been taking a regimen of clean eating, regular exercise, and added some supplemental products that have been designed by those seeking to help people like myself who have arteriosclerosis, in addition to the cholesterol reducing meds that are prescribed for me as well. Got to accept the indications either way and move forward. Asking God for more time, shamelessly, not afraid to go, hoping to stay.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Alameda modifications

Thanks to Al and Freddy for helping me finish my wall mount TV installation with zero wires showing. I love it and Laura tolerates it, still hoping she loves it someday.

Some Alameda's have fireplaces, some don't. Most have large double door entrances which are nice for moving stuff in and out.

Our home is one of the models that sold the best in our retirement community, although they phased it out two decades ago it remains a popular resale because it fits the retirement lifestyle.

It has a third room that most use for a den, a combined living room/dining room, a bar area, and a seperate kitchen with a dining area, and a large bathroom and roomy master bedroom. Each time I visit an Alameda owner I am amazed at how many different options they allowed in the basic ranch rectangle with an L wing bedroom.

Some have windows where some had doors, the connection of kitchen to dining room allows for a pass through window in some, the kitchen was shrunk to add a large garage work area in some, and of course the ever confusing flip flop of the house which has all the rooms facing in different directions.

We Alemeda owners always enjoy making comparisons. In our ten years here we have removed the bar for more living room space and turned the kitchen into one large room with an island. It is still a very functional space and we enjoy it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Super!! Bowl

Matthew, crawling here, and all grown up now, lived last year in the Baltimore area, although both of us are not real football fans, he watched the game with us for a bit.

I loved the action, the weird power outage (only in New Orleans?), the great quarterbacking on both sides, the drama, the scores, the whole shebang.

Me and Phil and other match ups

Phil Michelson is playing his 24th Phoenix Open, started when he was a senior, and I have been here in the desert just about that long. I am hoping he can pull off the win.

Joking about supporting the Ravens, because I like underdogs, and the Story of Blind Side which would be the crowning moment of a family whose love of sport led them to help a promising young man reach his dream to play college ball at Ole Miss and make the pros.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Canyon Lake Outing

Marvin invited me to test out his river boat from Idaho at Canyon Lake. Perfect weather and sunshine as we cruised up the lake and he tested his trolling motor and we enjoyed the trip. I got to practice backing up his trailer for the 20 ft boat, which I have not done in a couple of decades. Lots of fun, and spring is just around our corner.