Sunday, May 31, 2015
I just love saying that, its so exotic and cool sounding, The Mogillon Rim. We have reached that stage of our Arizona life where we do not go driving as often as we should. A visit from dear friends took us on a one day round trip to Show Low up on the Rim. Taking different routes up and back revealed breathtaking vistas around just about every corner. This state is a rocky, mountain delight.
Friday, May 29, 2015
I cannot tell a fib, I am getting close to my next birthday which is the big traditional transition date, the big 65. Of course the decision to retire is very personal and for us will almost certainly be postponed. I am nevertheless thinking about transitions in the things that I hope to accomplish and experience and change one day if I am granted more years of health and life.
I am thinking quietly about different things on the plate of the future, but mostly just thankful to have learning and experienced so much wonderful life in my life.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I shall not keep my Kitties passing before you any longer, but waking without the Kitty routines made us both feel empty this morning. Like most cats, she slept more in the day and roamed the house at night.Several times a night she would lay above Laura's head on the pillow and stare at me and purr until I acknowledged her with a touch, which, if I did not wake up, would lead to a wet Kitty nose on my nose. I am visiting you Don, please acknowledge me in 4 am!
Then the morning routine of sitting on my lap for 2 minutes before moving to Laura's lap which would lead to that paw kneeding ritual that was reserved only for Laura, before she would settle between us and just listen to our morning conversation. It's the little things that make each day special.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
She was not angry or fearful as our Vet quickly and gently ended Big Kittys downhill slide. He was no longer eating for almost two weeks and his disease was incurable so we gave Kitty a sweet weekend sitting outside where she loved to smell and watch all the backyard activity.
His routines with us were so endearing as she would start the day in my lap in bed and go back and forth between us with nose kisses and sweet tender purring.
It was hard but we knew it was time.
Preachers do work on Sunday. It is the culmination of a weeks worth of preparation, and the whole week finds its climax for a teacher in the teaching moment. My wife is a teacher, and for five days a week she is handling children, doing discipline and crowd control, in order to have some teaching moments.
Memorial Day is a teaching moment for America as those who fought in great wars try to teach those who have never faced war, have forgotten want the cost of losing certain wars would have been.
I believe the world is in a teaching moment, when false stories are being challenged and new paths are being forged, and teaching moments end up challenging everyone about something they were sure was true but might not be.
Monday, May 25, 2015
My family left New York State for Alabama in 1961, a real culture shock, and went back to visit the New York Worlds Fair in the summer of 64 which was the setting for the scene from Tomorrowland, of Its a Small World, which was the Unicef contribution to that expo. I still remember the 14 year old me trying to hurry my family up, which is what I still do in parks. Laura and her Mom were there that same summer and we wonder if my 14 year old self may have passed her 11 year old self on a walkway somewhere.
I still remember the NY State pavilion with its two tiered platform way up high, and the shock of seeing its rotting rusting hull last summer when we drove from JFK to Manhattan.
Then this morning I saw that the couple huddling under a wet blanket for the album version of Woodstock are still together after 46 years. Wow, and in my mind how much our world changed from 64 to 68 as Vietnam soured the nation and its youth and the election riots showed what would be the beginning of cultural divisions in our modern world that rage today.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Last time we did Disneyland we were told that Its A Small World was closed for the filming of a movie. We thought that was cool and this afternoon we enjoyed the scene filmed there and the whole Disneyesque style movie with an optimistic view of the future and human ingenuity. I thought it was well done with a great balance of message, action, and acting.
Hope your Memorial Day is blessed.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Mesa has a huge 3 day swap meet every weekend that I never visit...until today. Want some fresh air and Arizona's roads out of town are already clogged including the major hwy up the mountain having a road closing wreck already this morning.
We continue to have a delightful spring of cool and windy weather.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Big Kitty has an incurable disease of feline aging called hypo-thyroid disease. It is pretty grave and so we are going to enjoy her this weekend and let her go as she is not eating and showing signs of discomfort. Like many blessings in life I cannot tell you what fun we have had with Big Kitty oveer her long fifteen years in our home. She is a lap cat, and nose kissing cat, a routine loving cat. Each morning she goes from my legs to Lauras and sits and purrs.
We love her too much to watch her suffer, so we will enjoy her presence this weekend and put her gently down on Tuesday. We are trying to get our hearts ready for an empty house.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I was never a cat person, but my son in laws family was and somehow we ended up with an Orange Tabby who had a litter from which we chose a cuddly male furball and his sister. We lost sister three years ago and Big Kitty as we call him has been a constant joy, morning and evening and anytime we need therapy for 15 years. He has lost his appetite and is losing weight and we are preparing for results from a blood test.
Before we moved to Sun Lakes Kitty dissapeared for four days and we thought he was gone, only to have him show up missing 2 plus inches of his tail. He never told us what happened. His other claim to fame is that he has the extra toes on the front legs which make him look like he is wearing mittens, which was my original name until dissagreements and his huge size led us to call him Big Kitty.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Laura has made it to the end of another year with a much happier experience than the last several. Our precious six weeks of summer vaca approach as she rests to prepare for year 20 with the Arizona Public School System and over 25 as a teacher who returned to her career after the kids all entered school.
This June will mark my 39th year since beginning ordained ministry, still at it daily.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Three weeks looking at the nature and actions of evil and some of the advice from scripture. When you think of the reality of evil's main weapon, which is violent death to the enemy..it makes you wonder how on earth you can overcome evil with good. I know that this is the arguement for just war and I tend to agree, but wonder how you balance the willingness to stand and fight a defensive and intercessional fight without becoming part of the evil that destroys life.
"in as much as it is within your power, live at peace with all men". God help us.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
As we were exiting the theatre last evening it was raining and we had to park several hundred yards from the entrance. We got wet, and on the way home the heavens opened for what would be recorded as an inch and a half. Our streets were flooded.
The Women in Gold was such a treat of a true story that built upon last years Monuments Men by showing a wealthly Jewish Family in Austria being destroyed and looted by the Nazi's with the approval of most of Christian Austria at the time. The flashbacks were so realistic and the emotions gut wrenching as you could feel the evil disdain of the oncoming hordes of uniformed Nazi's taking over the city of Vienna and scarring it for generations later as one woman fought to take back what belonged to her heritage and family. I love movies that go home with me and wake up with me and linger into my thought life for ever.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Thinking about the nature of God and the reality of evil this week. Reading and gathering ideas and realizing how much of our fears and anxieties since 9/11 which will soon be 15 years ago has affected the world. This ideology of Al Queda and Isis which takes life and justifies it according to the beliefs about the nature of Allah and his desire to cleanse the world of Jews and Christians and build an Islamic rules world is seriously dangerous thinking and acting and therefore the rest of the civilized world is reacting to it accordingly.
Meanwhile life goes on, including Throwback Thursday pictures. During my high school years in Jackson Ms my Dad became a traveling salesman driving this display truck of Todco Doors for truck trailers. I still remember the Sunday Morning when we took the truck to buy the Sunday paper and both forgot we were in the truck and Dad tried to drive into the carport and smacked the roof of the house pretty hard. No permanent damage but boy did we feel sheepishly silly.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
First time in my teaching career dealing for a month on the evils in our modern world I dealt with the raw poetic anger of Jude against the false teachers in the early church.
His big weapon seems to be final judgment and a hope that they will not lure too many Christians into their traps. I have to admit his teaching is so out of character with Paul that it jars me. I wonder if the problems with identifying the issues involved, the nature of the intrusions into the church, and the vagueness of just exactly how the church was to deal with the false teachers all left me a bit confused. How do you snatch someone from the fire? How do you hate the garment defiled by the flesh?
I rest in the comfort of the protection promised by God the overcomer to believers.
Another beautiful week ahead. A lovely day with the Mother of my children and the mother of my grandchildren.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Grateful for my Mom who tried her best to raise four kids in a middle class home and in many places. She and Dad hung in there and always made the best of things and stayed together till death parted them.
And to a wonderful Mother in Law who loved me and adored her grand children and made their growing up years very special.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Teed off at 7:15 and at the turn had to buy a windbreaker at the pro shop, windy and bone chilling late spring day. The warm pull over was very much on sale, and the pro thought he should have taken them off the rack long ago.
Of course the rest of the day has been delightful, as will a long Mother's Day weekend with our grandkids and kids.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Made reservations for a June getaway to San Clemente CA, a favorite place. Been two years since we have visited.
Here he comes to save the day. Touching story of the movie maker Joss Whedon placing so much Christian symbolism and faith and hope in his latest Avengers Blockbuster in spite of the fact that he is an atheist. In the story his non belief stems to a harrowing time when he was beaten as a teen on the streets of NY and no one helped. This traumatic incident led to his eventual lack of belief in a deity....and in the kindness of strangers, I would think.
So in our age of disbelief we are falling in love with super heroes again, and it makes sense to me. We need to be saved, and want someone strong to do it. We want strength to do justice and to avenge wrongs, but we want integrity and altruism in our saviors.
All makes sense to me, and I will enjoy the movie, and my faith in an avenger who is also merciful.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Last summer we spent an amazing week touring Manhattan New York. When you finally see what has been part of your life in magazines and movies, and you are actually in Times Square, or on Liberty Island or in Ceinntral Park. It was a very special week.
We stayed at the NoMad, which is short for North of Madison, which is a lovely area on Broadway south of times square. Madison Square Park was just two blocks south and we enjoyed late evenings people watching in that tree covered area. It was delightful. We notice a large building all covered in scaffolding on the westside of the park and now know it is about to become a Marriot Hotel called the Edition. An old insurance company building with a famous clock tower will be the home of a new cosmopolita an hotel, and Brian our son is in training to manage the front desk. We are told the relatives of Marriott employees get some good travel stay discounts and that is good.
Google The Edition Manhattan and see it. We are now excited about a return trip some day soon
Monday, May 4, 2015
Ten million copies of the Late Great Planet Earth were read and passed on in the 70s, prophesying that the world would end in the 80s. I was young and naive and bought into it. It bothered me, and filled my life with some questions that would take a lifetime to answer.
Today the same popular interpretive scheme has predicted something apocalyptic will happen between now and October and every earthquake and volcanic spew are messages from an Angry God.
I am not suffering silently and alone this time. I am sharing it with my church...both the predictions and my doubts about the way they theologize them.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Have not had time to slow down and post an update, out on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to late. Performed an Autumn wedding for two fine folks who have been widowed and desire to be together in a new relationship. I am happy for them and enjoyed bringing two families together.
A great evening with a friend enjoying Ruth Criss Steak House, great service, great food, my second visit in our lifetime.