Hawaii 2010

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coming up for air

Warren has passed from this world into God's care, he was such fun playing his Concertina and enjoying his life in Sun Lakes.
He survived cancer, a long caregiving service to his wife, who had been a Catholic sister growing up. They were both affected positively by charismatic renewal. Loved the first wave of praise music.

Made the point today that if God is about to end the world, then all our prayers are not going to stop Him. But if our own imposed theology demands a bad ending and a soon ending and we are in fact, deceived, then we have robbed a generation of seeking answers by our lust for rapture.

I watch for the way we respond to the threat of terrorism with prayerful interest. Not sure we know which way to go on this. Glad its not my decision.

In other topics, I love womens professional golf, I love the way they turned the Asian invasion into a positive so that we can display respect for those girls who desire to compete in America because its the best and most profitible way to make a living for a lady golf. They girls can play, and they swing like I want and need to swing at this stage of my life. With normal speed and silky tempo.

I love September with its hints at fall, the gradual return of our winter visitors, the beginning of the end of another year.

I am focused on being part of the change agents in the American Church. We are a very specific niche church. We are only open for seniors, so that makes our rules of attraction very different than most regular neighborhood church. It still calls us to be sensitive to the changes that continue to take place in the living and engaging our faith with the world around us.

I am trying to be ready for the results of my heart test, positive or negative. I will not lie, I want to share some years with my wife after she finishes her teaching career in two years.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Defending the Faith?

When thoughts of reformation or renewal lead to questions about the way we have interpreted truth and the reformers begin to publish, then those who dig in and refuse to listen feel that they are defending the faith when they oppose and deny the legitamacy of the questions or the search for better answers.

When they lose and things change, they think all is lost, when in reality their losing was a winning that will assure a better future with a better understand. Even those who refuse to change will profit by becoming a minority instead of a majority. Those who were a minority will become a majority and will be allowed to influence the outcomes and changes needed.

All that might seem like enough gobbledy gook to have lost you, but I am being cryptic for a reason.

We are in some sort of major spiritual shift, reformation, deformation, emergence or what ever you call it. You have to choose when to dig in and when to allow change, and it won't always look like you chose correctly.

I think the values that will keep us on the best track have already been revealed.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Long Labor Day Weekend in progress

Heard they have a new design for the 2015 Mustang, I have been loving them since I saw the 64 at age 14. This white convertible made the big Island a true kick to explore last year.

Up early for a tee time with friends. Enjoyable new course for me, usual joys and frustrations with the game of golf.

Looking forward to the weekend.

Disturbed at the rhetoric from facebook and Fox that we must annihilate all muslims. It's a prescription for the end of civilization.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A belated Blogiversary

Still trying to lift that bar in Toon Town after all these years.

I started this blog on July 24, 2008. I am not good at math but I think I am entering year seven in sharing my daily thots. If it were not rewarding and therapeutic I guess I would have quit.

One of my first posts dealt with heart disease, and I still have it and will be doing another diagnostic test and possible intervention next week. I also spoke of a trip to a conference on my quest for what others have called a new kind of Christianity, that would be an attempt to solve the disjointed types of Christian belief and practice I had lived with for over three decades.

As I have continued to listen and learn and discuss the times in which we live, it has become obvious to me that our culture and Christianity are in a time of major shift, and type of reformation that comes along every five hundred years. The issue can most simply be brought down to one simple but complex question as we face the issues of our day. How do we read and interpret our bible? For Christians, this is the watershed issue that touches so many other tensions in morality, evangelism, Christian life and views.

These were the very same issues that changed the world 500 years ago. It was about interpretation and practice in the church that led to the Protestant reformation, and in our day we will be debating the same issue with the light and understanding that have come into the world in the last several centuries and today with knowledge has been unleashed and access to debate brought down to everyone's computer.

This blog will occasionally touch on these issues, but mainly share the daily joys of this world, family, daily life, and health, and whatever strikes me to share each day. Thanks for stopping by to share it with me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Heaven is a place on Earth

I have been listening to a friend at the gym as she plans an anniversary trip to Kauai in a few months. I appreciate that she listened to my input on how we learned to explore and enjoy the garden island.

This is one of my all time favorite captures of a special moment in our lives as a couple. It was taken early one morning at Ke'e Beach which is the dead end destination at the northeast part of Kauai. We have spent a few hours there at least five times over the years. Only this time did we have the beach to ourselves for a while.

They shot a scene in a movie their long ago where a priest and his long unrequited love met for an affair. Remember the Thornbirds?
The beach is surrounded by reefs and creates a lovely spot to cool off that is quite calm, and full of fish to see if you have googles. The view Laura is observing is the ocean view of the Napali Coast and the beginning of a very difficult 18 mile hike.

Last time we were there in 2010 the parking was disasterous, the beach crowded, and the sand so hot it was dangerous. You either had coverings or your ran like a crossing on hot coals.

This day, was, a moment of heaven on earth for me, and the lady I love. I am hoping my friend and her husband make many memories like this one, even if they don't take a picture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Questions are good

This is an air vent in the mountain tunnel in Zion National Park, to bad you can't stop and look out as you pass through.

When religious institutions believe they have all the answers and no room for questions, they have hardened into forces of potential abuse of authority. We see that playing out in the mini drama taking place in the neo reformed movement and Mark Driscoll. He was so sure of the proper roles to be played by males and females in the kingdom that he got kind of kinky and weird about it, and about his own charisma as a leader teacher, and it is exploding around him.

Every reformation of the church has been surrounded by questions about the dogma and authority of those in power, be it ecclesiastical or governmental.

Questions and doubts and good, in my way of thinking, they betray no hatred of authority, just a reverence for keeping it real.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A dark shadow hanging over my head.

Emerging from a tunnel dug through a mountian at Zion National Park.

That was a phrase used by my Cardiology associate Doctor last week after our discussion. She was referring to the reality of the heart disease I live with. It's true, I try to live a normal hopeful future oriented life, but you have to monitor the things that your body is feeling and be ready to call for help in a moment.

Anyhow, we have elected for the fifth time to get some tests to see if anything is clogging. One year from today I will be on Medicare and such interventions will probably no longer be possible. So I wait to schedule another nuclear stress test.

Thinking about the Napa Ca area as they recover, and perhaps live in fear off aftershocks. I know how that feels.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bewey Bowden- a lady of influence

Mrs. Bewey is celebrating a birthday and reminiscing about life, health, and grammar on her facebook page. I took speech from her at College and then had her classes on polishing preachers to speak at Seminary. She will never know how encouraging it was to hear her tell me I had speaking gifts that senior year.

She was a catalogue model, an elegant dresser, a lady of taste and manners with a lilting southern accent and a strong silky voice. Many many years of teaching as a passion. A faithful wife, church member, and who knew, an artist of incredible accomplishment whose style and colors are perfect for any home.

Happy Birthday Bewey, one of my favorite teachers and mentors.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Home is where the heart is

At the top of Kolob Canyon Drive with Larry and Jade.

I love going into hometown restaurants and thinking about the families I see there. What for me is a rest stop is for them home.
Boise is the hometown for some of my friends and I can see why they love it. Four seasons, abundant outdoor and recreational activity, bustling economy, beautiful homes and stores. Very nice. But so is my adopted home and state...for completely different reasons, and having only two seasons, hot and not so hot, is one of the big reasons people who love it here only love it part time if they can. But here is my family, my work, my memories of the second half of my life. Here is my best friend Laura, we just enjoy living our life together, and so here is my heart.

But to get away for just a while, and see other roads and other cities makes we appreciate it all much more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life is a gift

My batchelor trip is over except for the flight home. Enjoying the cooler weather on the golf course. Wake up to a very troubled world and wonder using the words of the song that marked my own youth, WHEN WILL WE EVER, LEARN, WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Road Trip Day 7

Headed home tomorrow. I have enjoyed the time away, the beauty of our roads and mountains, the company of good friends. We narrowly avoided a collision yesterday when a truck ran a red turn and was blocked in our vision by the truck in the next lane. The dude was clearly acting selfishly and we almost paid the price.

Is'nt that the way of the world, a lot of regular folks paying the heavy price of dealing with selfishness, violence, thuggery and religioius zeal gone crazy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Saw Old Hal Lindsey on TV last evening

The end timers are at it again. They show up everytime the Middle East heats up and prove how Matthew 24 is literally being fulfilled in August of 2014.

The things they assert cannot be proven and if history disproves the they will be gone from the scene until the next prophets of doom began to rant.

Old Hal Lindsey is still interpreting events these days. I quote from his past. The 80s may very well be the last decade. The 90s may very well be the last decade The year 2000 may very well be the terminal year. Go get a life Hal.

Scripture does not really demand we take this deterministic guessing game approach to the future. We have imposed this lust upon the texts.

Claiming an immanent rapture rescue after 2000 years is just plain sad, its like Charlie Brown believing that this time Nancy won't move the football.

Enough ranting, off to golf in Idaho.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Boise Sunday

My first Batchelor trip came through Boise, to McCall and to a cabin on the Salmon River, where I listened to God. I was seeking to experience and test some thoughts that had created "Aha" moments in my Christian experience. Right or wrong the search for truth has been exhilerating.

The church we are visiting today to be with a friend who made my first trip possible has a belief statement that is long and complex and demonstrates they know precisely who God is and What Christ did and will do in the past, present and future. And....frankly....they know too much, they are sure of too much. I am so thankful I took some of my theology off the I know that shelf, and back on the mystery shelf. I have seen what this level of assurance does to people.

Anyhow, thankful to still be on the journey today.

Laura is enjoying the use of our newly remodeled bathroom today and has promised to let me baptize the shower. She says the Tub is very comfortable. We miss each other, but this week in August each year has been so great for my spiritual life.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Boise Idaho

Well, its been a day or two since wifi worked well enough to post. This is day five of road trip and we have arrived at our destination, with a day of worship and rest tomorrow and golf on Monday. We enjoyed a wonderful Best Western in Twin Falls and have chose another near the Boise Airport that has a lovely indoor pool and spa, and great rooms.
Been a while since I traveled this way so I am recommending you check them out.

No matter where you travel in this great country you find good folks, hard working, providing services and goods to make this economy go, and you find folks are preety much the same, yet the areas they live create a lifestyle for the residents. I find I could live in Idaho in a minute, then I think of the winter and suddenly the 80 degree day is not such a great thing.

Anyhow, my retreat reading and thinking have been rewarding.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Zon National Park

We spent the day yesterday touring Kolob and Zion Canyons. We were amazed at how each part of the area presented totally different types of rock.

The mile long tunnel through the mountain built in the 1930s.
We all decided that there are no words to describe the majesty and beauty of the park.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Road Trip Day Our National Parks

We are in Parowan Ut. this morning. Way too long a driving day yesterday that was my fault. This place was not as close to Page AZ as I thought and motels are in high occupation mode, but we made it.

Last evening we drove toward dusk through the Dixie National Forest, which was beautiful and winding. For the first time in a long time the deer crossing signs were real as we saw over twenty deer grazing right by the road.

Today we are going to Zion National Park just south of us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pile in the car and go

Wichita Road trip, August, 2012.

Those early family trips in the big 57 Pontiac with floor boards where the kids would nap, or when I was smaller I would recline in the window behind the back seat. All very unsafe in cars without seatbelts. It was fun.

Flagstaff, Page, then west toward Zion and Bryce National Parks, I am off, cameras charged and digital chips in place, to sieze the day, carpe diem. Why could'nt Robin Williams remember his own characters yesterday, and hold on till the natural end? Sad. Also sad is the violent death of a minister friend in Raliegh Durham when he encounterd the wrong man while out doing errands. God have mercy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Natural Beauty

A sunset from my August Vacation to Northern Iowa, Lake Okibogee.

Tommorrow I am headed with some friends to Zion and Bryce National Parks for some photography and driving relaxation and some time for reflection and planning for the upcoming year.

Laura, alas is working, so she will be enjoying some quality time with the remote, and putting our remodeled bathroom back together, filling the shelves and organizing.

Ultimately we will visit friends in Idaho for a round or two of golf.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Best Golf of the Year

Rushing to get it in, Rory gets a hit through, almost hits it in the water, great golf, great competition, great birdies and eagles, great contrast of old Phil against young Rory....when did Phil get old, I was living here when he was still in college.

Waiting on God

When evil seems to be in control, when violence rules, when wicked ideas twist the minds and hearts of people created in the image of God...we pray. God do something. Intervene. Stop this.

He always seems to act indirectly, and he uses people like us who agree that He is good and creation is good and good can and must overcome evil. This I still believe.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Truth communicated through personality

This is a raw fresh picked unroasted coffee bean that will soon be Kona coffee. The daily sharing of conversation over coffee is part of my life that I count most precious.

It is impossible not to allow who we are to affect the way we think and act and our learning and experience to affect our teaching in both content and style.

It is also very hard to see the theological and historical filters through which we see and do the message of the gospel.

The currect phenomenon of Pastor Mark Driscoll is a combination of this theology, his personality, and his success, and perhaps many other factors we are unaware of.

His ministry style attracted thousands, hurt hundreds, and the fall out is creating waves through social media and those connected to the wider movement of the church in America.

Understanding both calvinism and pastoral ministry, I can understand how all this happened. Many times a more irenic and kind message from the other big name in calvinism, John Piper, would rub people the wrong way because they did not see the truth through that long established filter of theology.

When I began to live my life with non calvinists, I would sense markable differences in the way we would see and interpret things going on around us and in the Bible.

It makes for a tough type of life to try to share things that you believe are true, challage traditions that many believe to be true and may not be, and to allow your own personality and views change as your grow.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Has God Left the Building?

Repairing St. Peter's Cathedral in NYC. Will it be enough?

Joined several hundred folks at an advance screening of a movie by Group Publications on the stories and issues behind the decline of the American Church. The comparison to the Kodak Company missing the boat on digital photography was quite telling. There was a long story of an aging Jesus type pastor trying to turn around a church and largely failing. The changes he made brought no one and alienated a good section of the old faithful till they voted him out.

Some good segments on mega churches that pointed out their potential future problems. Overall it was a fairly depressing picture in many places, although my own studies lead me to believe we are shifting for the purpose of recovering the message.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

Guard your children well, they are our future.

I read a blog by a man who has a passion for the history of the civil rights movement. He said this week was the 50th anniversery of finding the bodies of three young men murdered and buried in Neshoba Co Mississippi by a Sherrif and his Ku Klux Clan friends.

I lived there at the time, and later would preach in two little churches in Neshoba Co. So I remember the time when I personally made my first black friend, and how good that felt to actually treat a young black woman as a human being and not a human problem.

Last night a young Muslim mother was having difficulty opening the gas door on the car she had rented or borrowed. I was able to help her, and we shook hands and exchanged smiles. I could tell she had an eastern accent, skin tone and obvious a head covering.
It was good to treat this Muslim mother as a human being not a human problem.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hawaii braces for storms

Theres no place to hide on an island. O, I love those trees and forests and hope they are not damaged. Still remember that during Hurrican Iniki they clocked the winds at 245 mph up on the Napali coast just before the wind measuring instrument blew into the sea. Lots of damage from that one in the early 90s.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cloistered for a reason

I have mentioned how our search for this volcanic warm sea pond was long and confusing, that the signs warning of bacteria kept us out of the water, and how on the way back to the car, I dropped my lovely little Canon Camera, causing its untimely demise.

OK, I admit it, I have never held Nums and Priests in high regard. While believing that many have the gift of celibacy, making it a mandatory obligation for full time ministry was just more than I could handle.

Read this week an infamous comment by Dick Butz a Secretary of Agriculture decades ago about the Catholic Church speaking on sexuality. "You no playa da game, you no makea da rules". It got him fired.

Yesterday I learned that monasticism was a reaction to the fall of the Roman Empire. Violence and ignorance so ruled the fifth century, that for education and culture and the future of civilization to survive, many in the church went into self imposed exhile from the world to survive. Monasticism continued to teach religion, culture, reading and writing, and from that time the wisdom for them of maintaining sexual purity through celebacy.

Takes the edge off the practice. Oddly as I wrote this post, an ex priest who married a nun came into my office to tell his story in response to an article I had written in our local paper. Life is funny.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bachelor Trip.....sort of

Parts of the Big Island are so new geologically speaking that the coastlines are more barren than lush. Whittington park is like that, and this shoreline shows and abandoned and broken pier.

In 2005 I was invited to spend five days in a remote camp on the Salmon River. I combined that prayer retreat with a Conference in Denver, and the Bachelor Trip tradition began.

Laura has a very short six week summer, and that time away for me served many purposes. Spiritual refreshment and seeing someplace different. Planning for the next years ministry, and purposely seeking out and listening to Christians outside my own tradition to expand my understanding of different traditions within the Christian Community.

I learned about spiritual formation from Renovare Ministry in Denver, Presence and ermerging Christianity in Colorado Springs and Little Rock, Fathers Day Conference in Missouri, Christian and Missiaonary Alliance Camp Meeting in Idaho. A lecture series in Northern California by Oz Guiness. Lots of mind and heart expanding times. Lots of interesting scenery and sites to photograph for fun.

Last year I was urged to stop traveling alone for health and safety reasons, so next week I am hitching a ride with dear friends for a roadtrip north and some extended time of solitude and prayer. More later.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

When all else fails......pray?

Blog posts are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.

Paul seemed to believe that prayer was important for all people and all places. He realized that people in power can be used destructively or benevolently. He believed that government was best an answer to prayer when it kept things quiet and civil, for in that atmosphere people can be loving, productive,creative, interactive, and about all the other "ives" you can imagine.

He further stated in 2 Tim 2 that this hopeful prayer was motivated by a God whose desires for all men were for a saving relationship, and I am convinced that salvation is an active word that means so much more than going to heaven when you die. It means you are in agreement with God and His will for peace and quiet, for godly lives. You are actually going to participate in bringing the kingdom values to planet earth with your prayers and actions for peace.

With the dysfunction in our leaders, the revenge driven Middle East, the power driven Soviet Union, the suffering causes by Islamic fanaticism, and the deadly virus that could spread through the world and make us live out what too many movies have been portraying lately, like Contagion, then, yes, I prayed this morning real sincerely for the savior of all men to do some saving.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prayer as participation in warfare

Whittington Park in Hawaii is advertised as worth a stop and mainly appealing to the locals as a picnic area. This tree with a family picnicing under it was one of the attractive things we saw in addition to lots of families playing in the tidal pools on the rocky shoreline.

This month in church we are focusing on intercessory prayer. We are called to it, and sometimes we feel that not much changes when we pray. But who knows what will happen in times like these when we join in seeking God's will and praying for peace.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Busy Friday

Times Square NYC is a family place these days, lots of lights and wonders to behold.

Played an enjoyable round of golf in a cloudy pleasant coolish morning. Came home to a bathroom full of remodeling artisans as our project approaches the zenith. American life seems so normal with sports on TV and life going on as normal.

Yet, you are aware of the bombing, the threats, the tensions, the suffering in a world going out of control.

You want to forget about it and just enjoy your life, but that is hard to do. So you pray, and give thanks, and wonder where this all goes.