Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Truth? "You can't handle the truth"!!!

It's a famous line from a military trial scene between young lawyer and grizzled general. In our reviewing of the Genesis 1-3 issues I found myself becoming very emotional and combative, and realized it was not the sweet folks I was teaching but the religious spirit of fear and mind control that I have opposed all my life.

Starting a young earth book with the Col. 2:8 quote about making sure you are not deceived by man made philosophy unfortunately does not make me think I am about to read science, but propaganda. True science cannot undermine faith, the issue is being open to what true observation might teach us about creation. Creation science worries that if we give them more than 6000 years to work with those atheistic, godless scientists will destory our precious faith. There are probably scientists that have fashioned false dogma from incomplete theories,and atheists that have run on those ideas, but that is equally in need of our own study and questioning.

I love lava, reminds me of fudge setting up as it cools, he said non-scientifically.

I am afraid that religious spirit that covers its eyes, plugs its ears and attempts to shut the mouths of scientific observation and even developing theories to be tested, may be the thing that destroys the faith of many people at this point in our development and understanding and knowledge of God's universe.

I believe Jesus died, and rose again, and was the second Adam. It was miraculous and beyond scientific inquiry to be received by faith.

The audience that received those revelations from Moses about origins and God's desire to live in their midst were probably not ready to handle all the truths of how God created the heavens and the earth, and its a false Biblicism that demands those texts to tell us everything we ever need to know about creation.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jurrasic Park!!!

The Scientist warns the Entrepeneur about the danger of mixing a long extinct number of species with the human race and he is assured that every precaution against reproducing, and the movie proceeds to create the stunning and terrifying reality that nature finds a way of surviving.

Every kid grows up with his first books of dinosaur pictures or gets his first set of plastic figures and he enjoyed wondering how early man dealt with this, or did Dinosaurs go long extinct before man came along?

Been trying to discuss this around here with a quick walk through of Genesis foundations, and have found the emotional confusion over science and scripture to be alive and well right here in river city.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How low can you go?

Rock walking is a risky joy, we saw some cats living in this beach area, along with a very untypical infestation of flys. Made it an rather unpopular picnic stop.

My amazing chiropractor Don has helped me through a number of pain and physical misalignment issues. Something happened on a hike in Hawaii that created what felt like an old ligament wound from college.

I asked him if he did knees, did his adjustment skill go that low, and his humorous reply made me smile.

He felt, moved, put his pressure clicker here and there, and said it was slightly hyperextended, and when I got up the pain was gone. I still feel the soreness from the weeks it was out of place, but the pain is gone, and I am so pleased to find this form of manipulation that uses no drastic body crunches.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friends are a joy

I loved the character of the wind swept tree angled at the top of a grassy plain in the Hawaiian high country near Waimea.

Last evening we enjoyed an evening of food and conversation with new friends, in their beautifully decorated home. Appetizers, wine, a delicious main meal, and stories, and sharing and reflecting on some difficult times both couples have been through and the faith that sustains.

We got to share some trip photos and videos with appreciative fans of the islands who have been there many more times that we have and still find the Hawaii life to be very special. May we always be able to have flights to that remote chain of volcanic islands.

And friends who remember what our country was like when it was strong and free, who paid a price to defend it, a price that defined them, Marines.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall in Arizona

This is going to be a week of my favorite pics. These horses were near the parking lot of the little church yard where
Charles Lindberg is buried.

Today the Tumbleweed Gym sponsored Day of Play, with hundreds of exhibits about exercise and health, and lots of fun activities for children and they came by the thousands as did the cars, which creates a parking situation, although they have event parking that is more than adequate a few hundred yards away.

All kinds of things like this going on, yard sale day, special welcome back by Neighbors Who Care, people returning to their AZ home all week long from summer homes back east or up north.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Life is fragile

Across town for car repairs, a morning of golf, and while eating lunch with my friend Jack, a phone call from police telling his they discovered his youngest son dead in his apartment. A hard thing to watch.

Some days are perfect and some are not.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Presently experiencing a heightened sense of beauty, please don't let it stop.

Drove the golf cart to work today....now how many folks get to do that? The clouds were manifesting the glory of God and the geese where showing forth His handiwork. It was so beautiful I forget about the President and Congress for a minute. I still am seeking to live a quiet and simple life, and hope we all can.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An argument that never stops resurfacing

We saw several of these trees with amazing white root systems and thought for a moment that they had been painted. No, this is their color.

A couple of years ago I went to a large Pastor's Conference at Charles McArthurs Church in LA. It was well done, impressive, full of great teaching, and the success of his teaching and publishing ministry is phenonmenal, truly an example of an evangelical church with high standards and effective ministry.

This past weekend 4000 leaders gathered to revisit and reaffirm his long standing belief in total cessation of spiritual gifts, and what he firmly believes are the damaging excesses and theological foundations of the modern charismatic movement, which also happened to have been birthed in the Southern California area from Azuza Street to the Vineyard movement.

I have been in and out and around all types of charismatics most of my career and have good, bad, and questionable experiences in my love of worship music and my general openness to God's presence.

It is disturbing to hear that he has disenfranchised well over 500 million Christians around the globe and the most effective growing movement of the Christian faith. I am glad I was not there, and will watch with interest how this public event plays out even among many very close to RC Sproul and McArthur in theology, but who do not share those convictions.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A "Hot Spot" Subject

Moses was not there at the creation, neither was Ken Hamm. Moses spoke and wrote Genesis after the trauma of leaving Egypt and becoming a people living near Mt. Sanai. Genesis 1-3 is an inspired account of a Creator, and His creation. It tells about all the important parts of this world God made, it probably does not do it in a strictly scientific manner.

The Hawaiian Islands were all created by one hotspot in the Ocean floor by the shifting of the techtonic plates very slowly to the northwest, thus Kauai the Garden Island is lush and fertile and the newest island looks like a moon scape in some places, yet even in lava just a decade old the ferns and coconut trees are beginning to show, some were even planted by man and the long process of creating a lush, food growing island took place over the last 40,000 to 70,000 years, pretty fast as Islands go, but way to long for young earth creationists.

Yesterday I shared the long struggle with a love for the scriptures and the cognitive dissonance that began in the sixth grade when I learned this cool jingle of a song. "The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnance".

Young Earth creation science sort of set down the guantlet and told conservative Christianity that if we give on the historicity of Genesis in all its points we will slip slide away from the cross and resurrection.

Faith and Science, true observation and the development of theories about the past, natural science, geology, they are all part of the dominion covenant and yesterday was the first time in 38 years of preaching that I told them that Hawaii helped me to embrace the idea of an old creation and has not destroyed my faith in an inspired Bible, a living God, and loving Savior, and a future existence in a restored Creation.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Swimming with Manta Rays

The Manta Dive began several decades ago when one injured Manta swam under the lights of a Resort to aid his feeding. Light attracts plackton the Manta would feast, someone created a surfboard with lights, took it to a favorite feeding spot and it became a nightly habit for all the Manta's who live for many decades, to gather at dusk for a helpful feast while paying guests have close encounters with Mantas.

Very Fun

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Butch had a special day

In his home church in Minnesota Butch was a member of one church for 54 years. He celebrated his 70th there a few months ago and had another celebration here in Sun Lakes today.

A packed room of friends and co workers enjoyed a few short words shared about our friend who has such a hard working and giving spirit.

Saturday Thoughts

This is an example of post production cutting through the haze in the water to show the beautiful spinner dolphins swimming.

My two grandchildren attended the same Elementary School where Laura is a teacher. It makes them halfway part of the staff. Yesterday I picked them up, and found Ben helping his third grade teacher decorate her room, and she had some dance music on and Ben was dancing up a storm, and I thought, I could not imagine this happening to me when I was a kid. We never really knew our teachers as people or relaxed around them.

The Memorial Service for Trudy was a Widows service. So many women lose there husbands early in retirement and build deep friendships with their fellow widows. I am moved by that fraternity. Although there are lots of them who find male companions and marriages as well in this community.

Our weather is delightful now, and all the golfers are trying to find places to play because all the course must close for three weeks to plant winter rye so it looks a green and heavenly. It is enormously expensive to buy, plant and water, and if we could break our need to see the green we could really play on the winter grass and let the dormant grass come back stronger. Just sayin, and my course in Ironwood is experimenting with a weed killing greening paint/fertizer on a couple of greens that will save 20,000 dollars a hole in maintentance each year. We will see how golfers respond.

All my vacation photos had to be cropped because the edges were dark. I used two filters, one for haze and one that twists to color the sky and sea a deeper blue. The wide angle actually picked up the edge of the outer filter. Pictures really do look better if you do a little improving on your photo software. I love having a record of a special week.

Speaking of vacations, have you ever noticed that after a vacation and a week to three back at work, you look at your spouse and say. "I need another vacation".

Friday, October 18, 2013

Welcome Canon Elph 330hs and a favorite movie.

Its the next generation of the 300 series, slightly more hefty than the one that broke, and with a cute vacation feature that shoots a 2-4 second movie before it snaps a picture, giving you the feeling of a moving account of your travels. And of course, very good quality pics.

Speaking of Pics, occassionally a movie comes along that is filmed in just the right way, has two deserving characters who are very adorable, and a story that works in every way a good romance should, the lighting, the plot developement, the music, it just all makes for a movie that is fun to watch, very real, very human, patriotic and value filled. Warning for the sensitive, a very passionate love scene or two.

The movie, The Lucky One, with Zach Efron and Taylor Schilling. Good supporting cast including Blythe Danner, dogs and water in the bayous, and a light house, which we all need from time to time to show us the way home.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Park Bucket List Fail

Here it is, my bad, a picture of a picture of flowing lava.

I got scolded by an art dealer in Kona for taking a picture of a picture. "You can't take a picture of a picture", he said, and told me to erase it, which I pretended to do in an act of civil disobedience. It was a picture of lava flowing into the sea, something I have wanted to see my whole life, the creation of land. And it just so happened that our first day of vacation was the first day of the shutdown.

All the federal employees are being paid for their vacation, and I am never going to see Volcano National Park, and my only options now are revenge or forgiveness.

I wonder how many future votes will be revenge votes?

Oh, and I will probably someday buy a video tour of Volcanoe National Park cuz its the next best thing to being there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rocks and Sand

The first beach we enjoyed was runway Beach, along the old air strip that was closed when planes outgrew the airport. you have miles to park and a pretty rocky but beautiful beach very close to town.

Waiting to pass

This semi private lagoon is shared by the Hale Kona Kai condos and the Royal Kona Resort and it quickly became a happy place for us. Protected by rocks yet refresh daily by tide and waves, we enjoyed the sandy bottom and the reef life with our goggles.

Most people are trying to postpone death and are overtaken by it, some people pray for it and it eludes them. Yesterday a dear friend whom I have visited weekly for the last six months finally left her emaciated flesh and found rest. From a physical perspective she remained on oxygen to give relief from chest pains, and drank Ensure for nutrients, and those may have kept her alive, but honestly, the length of her bedridden state was difficult to watch and give counsel through. Her answer finally came in the presence of her family and for that I am grateful.

My Office Assistant Genevieve is in her "happy place" this week with her daughter, San Diego.Everyone needs a happy place. As I go through the pictures I took in our happy place, the Hawaiian Island chain, I marvel at the feelings that can happen to place new places into sacred places. I have just completed a novel with theological intent called "Chasing Francis" which talked about the spirituality of place which is a long standing Catholic ideal with their shrines and historic chapels.

I sort of get it, more and more. And I understand why Jesus called heaven such a blessed place. My friend had a long, hard hospice, but their were signs that she had not been abandoned, for she never got bedsores or became unable to rest, and she was treated with dignity as best as the staff was able. Now our hope for a her new home is for her to experience and for me to postpone until I too am overtaken.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Creation dogma, creation awe!

I have made a breakthrough in my walk with God. I came to a point where the fight over whose right and the quest for Bible knowledge ended, and for a while I was just resting and waiting to see where to go with that. Then some of my newer friends I am reading helped me see that as I age there are riches to be mined way deeper than knowledge, and they are called in scripture wisdom and understanding. It's the stuff of the second half of life for most folks.

So, this fall I am leading a brief overview of the Old and New Testament, not so we can gain more facts and knowledge, but so that we can gain wisdom and understanding. Last year a very close look at Romans, this year a long look at the whole of Scripture with a desire not to worship the book, but to learn about the God revealed in mystery.
The Iron Man is over with winners in every age and category. I remember when it was televised but this was a blog event this year, and my admiration for those who decide this is the sport for them has really grown, but I have a fear that this kind of massive endurance training does not make for optimal health, as many talked of real problems with joints and body frame, and others about the heart problems associated with sustained high output like it takes to do this sport. Still, it was fun being part of the hoopla.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Opps, I must make time for my daily visit with you

Wiamea and north Hawaii are cowboy country with the history of Parker Ranch and hill country made me feel like I was in farming country in AZ, CA, or TX. An active busy town where we enjoyed a home caught and grown fish and salad lunch with great music.

Friday was a day of golf and renewed friendships with winter residents, a lovely dinner and preparation for two memorials on Saturday which kept me going from morning till mid afternoon.

An hour long trip to retrieve my cellphone from the counter at the golf course. O brain, where art thou?

Couple of hours to put together a slide show/sermon illustration/hymn story to share with my benefactors some of the highlights our of trip to the islands.

All the folks wore floral wear and leis today, very sweet and a fun day to be back in church.

My bible studies are beginning this week, much study and prep needed.

Teaching about creator/creation/creative/beauty/goodness/and the triumph of God's purpose in Scripture.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Farewell Canon 300m

Shortly after these pictures were shot of a delightful swimming hole fed by the ocean and heated by volcanic steam my small sleek Canon slipped out of my hand with the lens open and sustained a fatal injury. We had a hard time finding this park on the east side of Hawaii, and we had our suits to swim but the signs warned that the bacterial issues in the warm water were possible and not to get in if you had an open wound. Having read of those who suffered from the skin eating bacteria I lost my zeal to try it out, and as we headed to the car I dropped the camera.

Efforts to get the lens unstuck failed and I left it in Hawaii with sadness. It was a great camera. It had a star crossed relationship with this clumsy dude though, as last year I had the camera in my pocket with a golf ball and a door banged my pants and cracked the image screen. It still worked but no longer had the look of a new camera. So, it was a fine small carry everywhere point and shoot that I loved. Its movies were specially fine, and its replacement model is cheaper. I am saving up. I have to have two cameras with me when I travel, big and small.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back at Work, but changed by a wonderful time

This was the view from our second floor Condo on Alli Dr. one block from downtown Kona, and the Condo from the swimming lagoon that is shared with the Royal Kona Hotel next door, where we watched fish and enjoyed the ocean water surging through the rocks. And finally our breakfast buddies, who stopped by to say hello and ask for a handout each time we were on the balcony porch.

The trip back was fine, and amazing when you think of the distance and the time. We flew from San Francisco to Phoenix in less than 90 minutes. Four fourty five from Kona to San Fran.

We have adapted to the Hawaiian time zone which had us sleeping from 1 pm to 9 am AZ time, so I got four hours of sleep to get to the office at 8am this morning. Dragging a bit.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Swimming with the fishes.....and a special moment

This will be my last Hawaiian pictureless post as we head home tomorrow. I look forward to sharing some
of my favorites from the trip. Today the car stayed quiet and we got snorkel gear at 9am. First we played in the lagoon next to us and were surprised by the variety of beautiful fish in there.

Around town all the business ventures related to triathlon began to set up their booths, tents, displays....this is very big business. I love free enterprise. We have truly been surrounded all week by athletes from all over the world and heard families speaking so many languages while dining.

After lunch we went to the main dock area where all the action begins this week. We were told that the water of the reef there produces food that draws the fish in numbers, and we were completely amazed by the colors, size, and sheer numbers of the varieties of reef fish we saw with our snorkel gear.

The complete surprise that awaited us when we reached the beach was in intimate encounter with a 60 lb young monk seal in a friendly and playful mood. He loved to swim with us and spin and stare in our face
above the water, no touching, but he gave me a playful nudge in the back when I ignored him.

Only when we got in did we find the seal police insisting we not make friends as they are an endangered
species who need to be fearful of humans or they tend to get killed for pelts and meat by unprincipled hunters or fishermen. Sad, he or she was precious.

See you back on the mainland.

Its a Big Island Day 7

Yesterday we headed south and began the day with a delightful tour of one of the major Kona Coffee growers and exporters. Greenwell Farms whose original trees are 113 years old. We tasted, and saw the hand harvesting method, the drying and roasting and learned so many facts about the history of the growing of coffee and macadamia nuts which they also grow on the side of a 75 acrea mountain patch.

Lunch of papaya and fruit with breathtakng views, a second visit to a black beach where we filmed the turtles foraging.

We took a picture of the closed Volcanoe park and when instead down Hwy 130 which was consumed by a flow twenty years ago, we saw Lava Tree Park where trees were consumed by a surge of lava and cooled quickly enough to remain upright.

Then a long drive to see the last huge lava flow and observe a new black sand beach being formed. We are told they all have a short life before changing color with sea sand.

Home over the Saddle in the dark, 270 miles round trip.

Today is our last day which we will spend walking and swimmng in the Kona area. It was a joyful, relaxing, rewarding and memorable experience here on the youngest Island in the Hawaiian Chain.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Polula Overlook almost did me in, Day Six in Hawaii

For months on my computer I have enjoyed a professional photo of this place. At the end of the far north road is an overlook of the wind battered mountains and a black sand beach filled with smooth boulders. We were told that tons and tons of water smoothed rocks were hauled from this place for houses and walls over the centuries.

One King organized a line of men to pass rocks to each other to move them 20 miles. Once you got in rhythm you did not pick up a rock if you dropped it, unless it hit your foot, says the book.

The hike down town 20 minutes of winding down a rocky steep path, and then we enjoyed the beach and the rocks, and on the hike back up, my age and heart condition began to show up seriously. Huffing and Panting and Resting, I thought I would never get up that trail.

We ate on our Favorite beach, Hapuna, where they charge out of towners to park while the Hawaiians park for free. We swam to ease my aches and pains, and headed home after a lovely drive and a challenging day.

Every day, everywhere the runners and bikers are training, their bikes are technilogical wonders and very expensive, but we still see blowout repairs being made. The turn around for the bike race is the town of Wapi, with the best homemade icecream we have ever enjoyed, now twice.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Day to Cherish in memory Day 5 Dolphin day

Well, yesterday was amazing, We joined a newly wed couple from New York and two host guides on Kona Adventures to swim with dolphins, each day huge pods of 1hundred to 4 hundred travel up and down the coast, eating, enjoyed the trip before they stop and rest.

We traveled north as they searched for the pod, then got in the water as they passed, watching moms protect the kids and all them them frolic up and down as they go for air. Then we swim back to the boat and get ahead of them and do it again, four times.

Then we are treated to a reef dive next to a car inacessable beach, pristine and breathtaking where we observe small fish of every shape and color.

Back to the boat for a fabulous lunch and trip back to the dock. We are learning about dolphin behavior and life on the west side of the island from our very hawaiian driver and a cute and knowledgable swim leader who hails from Florida. It was the best outing we have ever enjoyed, and I got great underwater video.

Then we took a very challenging hike 20 miles south along a volcanic coastline, perilously trying to keep out balance and to walk over the natural arches created by the ocean. We knew there was a road out but could not remember how to find it and it was getting late when we found a solitary fisherman who helped us find the path. Almost three miles and 2 and a half hours of rock climbing fun. I was pround of us.

Then to the Royal Kona for drinks and dinner, some fabulous Calmari, and watching the Luau show from the pool area. We really are enjoying everything here and have a list of things we want to do on or last three days.

Laura is a snorkeling nut, going to have to get her some gear. Could not get her out of the water.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kohala Coast Day 4

A delightful day heading north to see some of the newer resorts and one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen, Hapuna Beach is perfect light brown sand and light blue water with no shells, no driftwood, perfect. Then to Waimea, a high country cowboy town clean and full of activity and history. We enjoyed a great Salad with Ahi Tuna and some great guitar and singing, then up the mountain to see Maui from a distance and eat some island make icecream in a quaint village, then another award winning beach at Mana Kea.

Out a 8am in at 6 pm most with the top down on the Mustang, my head is getting sunburned.

Tri Athletes Everywhere Day 3 Adventures

We watched the light of day as another boat harbored, and then went to the dockng area near the King Kamehama Hotel which serves as the home for the Iron Man Triathlon next week. They are hear by the thousands biking, swimmng the course which is several hundred yards from out condo, and biking all along the main Hwy on the west side of the island.

Our next stop was airport beach, which runs along the old airport and you literally park and drive on the runway, almost deserted and very rocky but we love it and Laura had a close encounter with a sea turtle.

Then we Lunched, and headed to another beach which was very crowed south of Kialua, not our cup of tea,We rested for our evening outing with Neptune Charles Manta Diving, and wow was it spectacular.
A 30 minute boat ride to a coastal area lined with 20 ft cliffs and about a dozen boats. You suit up and hold large surfboard which has lights when attrack plankton which attrach these huge winged beauties who proceed to swim among you and roll within inches as they feed. Laura has two of them stroke her body with theirs. I was struggling to keep water out of my mask and swallowed a too much salt water and lost my lunch, decidedly less romantice, and I was in the passion of the moment trying to take underrwater pictures as the camera decided to slow down until i missed the manta.

It was really fun, and we ended the night with a fish taco that was delicious.

Today, the north country.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Crazy Day 2

We should have checked but we left early and were surprised when Volcano National Park was closed, it took three hours to get the the park, so we drove around and had lunch in Hilo and visited Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls, both very nice, including some magnificent trees that you can hide in like in Lost.

Drove across the island through fog and drizzle, not the day we had planned but OK, and did I tell you I am driving a Mustang Convertible. Real fun to drive.

Hawaii Day One

Up at 3, 2 hours to San Francsico, five to Kona, Twice we walked to the shopping eating part of town, very quaint and quite busy as the evening progresssed.

We swam in our pool by the pounding ocean, and found the delightful protected lagoon that we share with
the Royal Kona, where we enjoyed an historic adult beverage and watched the Sunset as the Cruise Ship Solstice prepared to make way for a trip to another island.

Laura made her Tshirt purchase at Crazy Shirts while I enjoyed a shave ice, and bought an Obama Bubble Head for one of my friends at ABC Store.

Fun day, and so far this tablet refuses to upload pictures. There goes my readership!!!!
Off to Volcano National Park, which we fear will be closed because we have no govenerment.