Hawaii 2010

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Refreshed front yard and walkway

Here are some pictures of our remodeled yard, simple and elegant walkway entrance, fresh rocks and plants.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things I am not worried about

I am not worried about the secularization of America, I am worried about its leadership. God can put Himself into the hearts of men when and how He is pleased and much of the loss of faith is just the loss of the misguided messages the church has put into the culture.

I am not worried about the end of the world, I will leave it to God and His purpose and timing.

I am grateful to have lived my life as a believer, as a forgiven one, as one whom America has been a land of the free.

I am blessed to have shared the message of the reconciling God on Good Friday and the overcoming God on Resurrection Day.

Be blessed and joyful this spring weekend.

Eat for Heat and Health

I have been conducting an experiment for the last six weeks as the result of reading and study on dieting and metabolic rate. I had discovered that obsessing about food and the scale made me miserable and I never lost much weight. The idea of dropping a whole food group or eating mostly protein or whatever diet fad just seemed to create more anxiety that success.

I know what whole foods and healthy foods are, I also know how much joy can be derived from eating things we truly love. What if we are guided by eating to fullness, reasonable freedom and flexibility, and staying off the scale to track and obsess about your weight.

So, I find that I have maintained my same weight, enjoyed the treats that came my way in moderation, still practised healthy choices but not obsessive ones. I was helped by the books Diet Recovery 2 and Health at any size.

Now to experiment with enjoying the same freedom and changing portions and exercise just enough to lose some pounds without losing a revved up metabolism and a relaxed attitude toward the joys of eating all kinds of good food.

Our new front yard and entrance way are beautiful, we are thankful that we can keep up with the yards on our street.

Now to finish the special services and joyful celebration of the core truths of resurrection.
The Landscaper said we had a really thick sidewalk, almost ten inches deep, and if our driveway is the same it will never crack.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Canon T4i

Upgraded my Camera this week. It's a hobby and a way to record the history of my life and our church life. This one has a new focusing system that I have yet to figure out as some of my early shots are fuzzy.

The Ladies gathered for a breakfast put on by our men this morning.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Relational and relentless love of sinners

Shared some of the testimony of Wm Paul Young on the theology behind his two books, including the widely read The Shack. In Christianity Today online. He really roots his transformational concept of the Trinitarian God in the early church fathers, and believes this view of God really challenges and corrects the fundamentalist and evangelical views that are being tested and sometimes abandoned by Christians who are searching for truth and understanding.

He sees the cross as "God in the hands of angry sinners', which is not a new term but helpful in defining the purpose of the cross in condemning the flesh in its weakness and rebellion and affirming the victory of Christ in his humble substitution and submission that reveals a loving God, not an angry One. The Dance of redemptive love, the shepherd seeking to lost. It resonates with me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Old Photo Day

I loved that horizontal striped shirt, wore it all the time, probably should'nt have. Laura looks sweet as always.

Resurrection Week

The morning sun woke me as it shone through our east facing bedroom, a good wife drinking her morning cup of Joe before returning to her school for the finishing quarter of another year. I thank the Lord for life, another special week ahead, for the great pizza i enjoyed with friends the evening before, and the anticipation of that perfect week of weather forcasted ahead, seven days of temps in the low 80s. Sunshine and spring smells everywhere.

Still pondering stories of 8 dollar gas in a country that provides the poorest wages in Easter Europe, and the government graft that allows officials to do a manipulation in business that ruins competition and free enterprise. Communism and socialism create a mentality that takes generations to overcome, if ever. Romania is in our thoughts and prayers as the Pincus build up the evangelical church on day at a time.

Many thanks to Jack and Eric for professional work in our two bedrooms that past week.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

lifted by a Flute virtuoso

Our Romanian missionary Daniel played a Romanian arrangement of Amazing Grace today to the blessing of all who heard it.

His stories of the struggles of his country to overcome corruption are chilling, when you get addicted to selfish graft you keep the whole country from emerging into a healthy economy. Thankfully he and his wife love the country and a faithfully proclaiming Christ in so many ways each day.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Farewell Mabel

A 1944 Wedding of Tom and Mabel. Tom and family said goodbye to a really wonderful women today. Warm, loving, full of kindness and interested in life right to the end. Just a few weeks short of 70 years together.

Enjoying our newly painted rooms.

Super sore from hours of picking up debris from our front yard.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ms. Laura's projects

This fall we will have been in our present home for ten years, and the list of home improvements Laura has overseen is impressive.
New carpet, replaced all the tile,popcorn ceiling removed through out, all walls repainted, house exterior painted, total kitchen makeover.

This years projects are underway as I write, new paint in our master and guest bedrooms. After the removal of the massive tree, we are starting a project to spiff up our front yard with a tiled entrance and some fresh rocks. plants and boulders. You go girl.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good luck in South America, Francis

My heart was warmed when I heard that the Pope was an occasional coffee buddy with South American born Louis Palau the most successful evangelist since Billy Graham and that he furthermore affirmed the Popes interest in Protestantism and the wider Christian culture.

This conflicts to a degree with the stated goals of the new administration which includes rescuing some good South American Catholics who have left the church for Evangelicalism.

Guitars and drums and hand clapping and body swaying joy and enthusiastic preaching from the word, against, Mass and liturgy and robes and incense and homilies.

Good luck with that.

I continue to believe that the message will survive the wine-skins in which it is carried. The problem with wine-skins is that they get old and new wine will burst the skins. The joy of passing the faith from one generation to another is that the young believer is new wine and he will store his new faith in flasks that fit his own culture and understanding.

I believe Evangelicalism is facing the same problem of wine-skins not only in worship style, traditional preacher centered worship, but in the content of the message being formed from messages that may have been formed more by tradition that truth.

I drink all my wine from bottles these days.

I enjoyed bringing an Easter meditation to the staff and volunteers at Casa De Amor ministry yesterday.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Busy week

Busy days, lots of hospital visits, some dears ones depart to a next world. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No one can match our three week spring

Everyone loves spring, especially those who have really had a long hard winter. In AZ we never have a long hard winter, we just gauage the number of days we had to take a sweater or a jacket with us. Therefore, we do not really deserve a long spring time, and....we therefore do not get one.

Every where people are walking, digging in flower beds, enjoying the outdoors, because anyweek now in our three week spring the temps will get above 95, and our long, long, long, summer will begin and its name is "endurance". Its the payback for our winter of perfect days. So if you are contemplating retiring to AZ know this, that more or less we get four months of very mild winter with one or two rains and near freezes. We have a one month spring, and a seven month summer, which peaks with dry heats between 105 and 115.

But now, what a spring we are having.

Canyon Lake from a boat on the lake, aptly named.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pulled along by the Church Calendar

A year has a pace and a musical score. We are carried along by the seasons of life. Our personalities are often described by the seasons, we have spring people and winter people. Part of me wants to cooperate with this seasonal observation of all things gospel and celebrate the special holy days with special activities.

Part of me wants to treat each day like the rest and not try to build up some special seasonal excitement. A risen Savior has the same meaning to me in the middle of a cold January as it does on a beautiful spring morning.

I see all the churches along my streets gearing up and trying to attract the unchurched on the one or two days a year when they may have a spiritual thought, the ripe unto harvest idea, and we put on the special celebration.

I saw a picture of a church that had put up a tent, and were seeking to gather new folks. They had set up for over a hundred and when the pictures were published you could see about 20 folks scattered in the audience. I found myself hoping the pictures were taken early and that they had reached their hopes for lots of visitors. Part of me said, "whats the use?"

Those are some authentic blue Monday ruminations. I think I am a winter Christian.

Thinking about all those folks having a final winter storm this week. This picture was of a rare spring snow in balmy Jackson Mississippi in the spring of 67.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Brain is under strain

Grandmas Frieda Kennedy's grandchildren and great grandchild and great great grandchildred and various others related ones are gathering in Pensacola for a reunion in June.

So I am telling some of the story of evangelist to Ireland, St. Patrick, and I am thinking of him and my mouth is saying St. Andrew, and once the mistake was made I was no longer catching it.

The old brain has f**ted big time, and all I can do is feel sheepish and tell folks I misspoke big time.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Music, the gift that keeps on giving

Laura had a Walmart gift card burning a hole in her purse since Christmas, and last evening we purchased the latest Josh Groban, All that Echos, and Phillip Phillips, The world from the side of the moon.

Went to sleep listening to them with two other recent downloads and my music created my dreams again.

This week much Celtic and Irish Music being enjoyed, the simplicity of harp, violin, whistle and drum are magic and the joy of the melodies are so uplifting, the long mournful slow melodies move me deeply. I am blessed with hearing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Breathtaking Spring Golf

Laura and our poodle in the newlywed days.

Some spring days the golf is secondary to the beauty, the fresh air and sunshine.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Feasting at Oreganos

All our three adult children and families were together last evening for a leisurely dining experience outside in the Oregano's patio dining area. It was noisy and so the two tables carried on conversations and tried to hear the other group on occasion.

Up early to put Brian on a plane to Chicago.

Lots of talk about hope for a new beginning for the Catholic Church, would love to see it.

The failed prophecy of a Pope named Peter does not surprise me, foretelling the end times is a pretty difficult task and I put very little stock in most of it.

My mom loved the grandkids as well in her own way.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Father loved his grandkids

As I peruse my parents slides, I find my father always getting down to where the kids were, laying on the floor, riding vastly undersized tricycles to get them to laugh. He could bring a smile to a kids face like no other.

I will always remember this strength, this childlike aspect of my Dad.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brian has always been a sketcher

My son did this yesterday as a birthday sketch for his sister Melissa, he has always enjoyed creating women dressed in his fantasy fashions. Over his life he has been in and out of sketching fads like boats, buildings, cities, etc.

He is putting together his portfolio for an interview in Chicago this weekend.

He has his mothers body type, thick hair and talent that is not in me either. Most folks never progress beyond the artistic talent they had in third grade.

I love all my grown up children for who they are and who they hope to be.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Report

What was special about living in upstate New York Finger Lake district, snow, owning a sled and a dish, and having the energy to get out there and find the hills and enjoy the crazy speed and abandon of a sled ride or a saucer spinning crash. I also had my own bedroom for the fist time in my life in that big house.

Our second grade grand boy is hooked on Disney teen comedy and says the early morning Donald Duck type stories are for kids.

A cold Friday and Saturday gave way to a warm Sunday and allowed them a swim and a golf cart ride.

Our son Brian is here to enjoy Spring Break with us and get a break from the pace of his life in NYC.

Laura begins her vacation with joyful anticipation that the end of another year is in sight.

Our Bible study room is filled with bag lunch preparation and conversation between people who have compassion for the poor.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Under the Influence

Every now and then I operate under the influence of another power. I strive to be there moment by moment. The presence of the Spirit of Truth when you are attempting to breath life into things well known and too familiar. When you sense the presence and relax and let your thoughts and heart bring the truth from inside you to outside using our all too weak language and intonations, and if it happens to reach folks in the heart, then you have tasted of the heavenly gift.

The Big House in Oneonta, NY on Clinton Av. We only lived here for a few years, it cost enormous amounts to heat in the winter, but those years in the third, fourth and fifth grade contain some of the richest and most vivid memories of my life. You should see some of the icicles that were generated in that second story corner. We also used to sleep outside on that upstairs porch in the summer. Fun times, great part of a wonderful life.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Todco Doors

My father drove this demonstration truck for several years when he sold the Todco rollup truck doors. I thought it was the coolest thing and spent many hours opening and closing and sitting in the empty truck.

I once got to do a road trip to New Orleans with him and it was the beginning of a positive change in our relationship which lasted until his departure. Mom did not enjoy the part of Dad's life when he traveled for a living.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pro Golf Outing long ago

Whatever camera I was using for my visit to the Pensacola Open in 76 had a light leak. I saw Jerry Pate, current US Open rookie winner and of course the vernerable Bob Hope. The failure of that camera probably led to my entrance into the world of 35mm film.

It was a special memory.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Things I have learned from copying slides

Scenery is lovely, but having a person in the picture helps make it lasting.

The clarity of digital, even inexpensive point and shoots, beats any film shot through a series of inexpensive Kodaks

Catching casual moments is memorable.

The items on a bookcase stay in your memory decades after you thought you had no memory of them, pictures on the wall also.

Pet dogs were very much a part of my growing up years.

Organizing slides was just as hard as organizing digital pics.

If you love photos you will probably love them more than anyone else, and although we had a time getting the slide out to watch, most of the images were still packed in my memory.

Time passing is a mystery, life is short.

Now on the lighter subjects

I can only wrestle with big issues for so long before I need a break to let my soul catch up to my body.

I have mentioned my project of digitizing my and my parents slide collections. I am two trays away from finishing part one, which is get them done. Part 2 is organizing them by either events or family groups or decades or several of each in order to present them in some form and fashion for our family reunion and future use. Believe me, not as easy as it sounds.

I have mentioned taking two plus months away from golf and being pleasantly surprised at tome renewed shotmaking. I made seven pars earlier this week, some encouraging signs of improvement mentally and physically.

I have not mentioned that my dear wife will have two precious weeks of break after work on Friday and she is looking forward to just being home working on some projects and relaxing.

An Easter Sunday in the mid 60s. Did'nt we look spiffy?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Something is brewing in God's plan

Why have I ranted in recent posts on the different types of approaches to Christian faith and doctrine. Its not that I have any power to change a thing.

Here is what it is, I hope....the honest tensions and rumblings of another reformaticn. You see, every 500 years or so it seems that Christianity goes through its closets and holds a huge garage sale. Leaving others to hold the cheap and no longer usable junk of religious tradition. Some will buy and continue to the the old stuff assuming it has a life that has already left it.

Many will listen for the best of these competing new voices and interpretations till a wave of fresh wind fills the nation and the world. And it will have the scent of the original visions of God. It will ring true of the original hope of the one new commandment of Jesus, whose new command was based on a sacrificial love that preceded an offense. an unsought love, a love that does not judge the present struggles of the one being loved.

That's the hope I am clinging to, and the options I am sorting through. I want to be part of the solution.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Truths that attract

An old missionary church in Maui.

It is sad and amusing to see how much fun the popular shows, cartoons and media are having with the election of a new Pope. Just saw one that had the candidates playing musical chairs to select a winner.

The sad part is that it reflects the true disconnect between modern life and the cassock-ed celibate priests and their traditions. I mean no disrespect, but it is so hard for non Catholics and just regular people to resonant with the structure, the pomp, the separation that the clergy distinction creates in this culture.

It would be so easy to blame culture, but the world grows up, the information age, the connectedness of the internet, the exposure of the violence inherent in some eastern faiths, it just all adds up to the need to find an authentic faith that reflects that we live in a different world than that which developed in medieval times.

My hope and prayer, is not that the Roman Catholic Church will go away, but that it will continue to modernize, to hold that which is true and let go those things which hinder connection to humanity as it is. The gospel attracts, tradition that no longer works do not.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

No Do overs

The New Covenant and the new life and the One who made all things new will not by nature allow a do over. What history has done with the call to assemble together as called out one, ie. church, now speaks so loudly that people hope to get a new start must wade through what the church has done.

People thinking about being Christ followers will look at the different types of religious experience and doctrinal foundations and will join the one that seems most like their hopes, or those groups that have actually reached him or her in some concrete way with service, teaching, friendship or something similar.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Systems Failures

George McDonalds book of messages entitled Unspoken Sermons are now on audio at a site called Libravox. They stated that his messages were not systematic, and that he did not view scripture that way. The sermons use scripture but not as proof texts so much as attempts to discern the character and purpose of God in truth.

I have been exposed to at least six different forms of a systematic approach to scripture that cannot all be true. Some are based on a very literal hermeneutic and some a more figurative one, but they still are claiming to have it all figured out for our enlistment as enthusiastic followers.

It seems as though these efforts to pull all the texts together into something teachable and transferable are often attempts to correct or purify or go back to square one and start over, and all show hard work and commendable integrity.

I often hear them say things like, "scripture makes no sense unless your put this or that slant on it'. Maybe, maybe not.

Today I am resting in a phrase coined and used by the late blogger and pastor Micheal Spencer, "I am trying to live a Jesus shaped spiritualy".

Have a lovely pre spring weekend, our temps are up today and tomorrow. I love March in the desert.

Friday, March 1, 2013


The me in this picture was younger, and learning about life, which I firmly still believe is one of the purposes of our experiences.

We are meant to grow and process and rethink and live the contrasts of this short and less than heavenly life and learn to trust, and enjoy, and be thankful, and useful, and as fulfilled as possible.

A few days ago someone I do not know contacted me through social media and basically is trying to share a different way of looking at the truth of the plan of God. He is obviously a searcher like me and wants me to consider the results of his studies, which is of course something I desire to do in my own life. We share our viewpoints and test them out in our experience and hope to add to the understanding of what is important.

Here is the amazing and mysterious thing I have observed over and over. Depending on your set of influences, you can develop completely different viewpoints from devotion to the Bible. It can turn you into several completely different type of person.

You can be one obsessed with getting it right and be an arguer and a condemner of any who disagree.

You can be convinced that everyone is demon possessed and evil and live in fear and separation.

You can be open and believe that love is the most potent and helpful force in the world.

The list is longer and more complicated, but it has been a constant observation that the Bible can create many viewpoints that create different lifestyles, fulfillments, frustrations, roadblocks, and pathways.

Is one better, more correct, more desirable? Can you leave one viewpoint and adopt another? I hope so. Can you continue to respect those other viewpoints and yet refuse to get drawn back to their paths. I hope so.