Hawaii 2010

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Three Months Coming Up

It's the nature of technology to change and improve over time.

Laura worked for three days this week to qualify for a bonus recently passed by the electorate. She enjoyed helping all the staff in a stress free way and will be working next week in a testing capacity. Ms. Laura is not suited to the leisurely life and I expect her to be looking for continued involvement in education.

I, however, am naturally suited to leisurely life, and have found many ways to pass the time in the soon three months of early retirement. I have been questioning whether I should be giving up on teaching, in fact, I know I must get back involved. But not in the same context and with the same restraints of traditional evangelical practice.

We are road tripping next week to downtown Denver to gather with others in the grace movement at the Forgotten Gospel Conference. Just getting on the road will be fun for me although Laura has professed a loss of the joy of car travel. I hope to revive her appreciation for sight seeing next week, or at least work on it. Coming home through western Colorado and Monument Valley will be fun. Anything less that today's 113 will be a relief. Bring on the mile high city.

After an anguished three months of TV supplied by rabbit ears, and tossing the options back and forth about the three major package providers I finally decided today to cut the dish/cable and try the world of streaming service. Got a new high speed modem and contract coming, a Roku 3 receiver, and am studying the streaming packages that mimic the high priced world of Satellite but allow you to choose most of your favorite channels for less money. We decided we could live without a steady diet of Fox News, and for me, The Golf Channel. Truth be told we only watched a handful of the 200 channels we plowed through to find something to watch. I will keep you updated on this experience. Don't get me started about the constant price upward creep over the years. If only I could find a way to cut the smart phone, but we are pretty addicted to the news feeds, travel services, and facebook connections to let that go.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Left Behind?

Tim LaHaye has passed, and many of those who served as the vanguard of a resurgent premillennialism are aging toward the grave. His views and popularity have been fascinating to me and also one of the biggest roadblocks to healthy Christianity.

Dispensationalism is a way of seeing the message of scripture with a heavy dose of literalism and a huge belief that God wants us to figure out the season of His second coming.

I grew up with this, yet my own theological family always saw it as novel and somewhat dangerous. Throughout my ministry I would find people so steeped in the latest end time ideas that they assumed all around them were seeing things as clearly as they.

The history of date setting in my lifetime is a history of complete obvious failure. Hal Lindsey always couched his predictions with the vague phrase "this decade, month, season could very well be the last we see".

Is is polite to say bullsh*t? For LaHaye and his crew made themselves very wealthy on the steady diet of "This is It Believers, pack up, pray up and look up.

Fifteen years ago after 9/11 I spent months and months arriving as a view that has many variations but is generally about the fact that the prophetic scriptures in the Gospels are by in large past in fulfillment, that most of them pointed to a very close and temporal judgment coming upon that last Jewish Generation culminating in the loss of national status and the destruction of the ceremonial abilities of Israel.

Yes there are some possibilities that temporal history has perhaps a culmination, but the intricate end times antichrist scenario of The Left Behind Series bordered on the ridiculous and irresponsible. Yes, the rapture tribe loved them, and bought them, and discussed them. But my earnest hope is that Christianity will leave all this silliness behind. Please don't raise up another generation of date setters, please Lord, come before we have to endure another group of theological demigods who are oh so certain about things they do not really understand. Rant Ended, blood pressure slowly returning to normal. Rest in Peace Tim LaHaye.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Oddest Situations Surround Me

Thanks for thinking about us, our compressor seems to be working, while a new one has been ordered by the company that installed the Trane system so we are still under warranty for parts. All AC repairs are expensive!!

My gut tells me that Donald Trump is not going to be the kind of savior that conservatives wish for, my observations confirm he is setting back civility by centuries.

So many of the groups that gave me my identity feel like places where I no longer feel at home.

I no longer really buy into the idea that God is allowing this to teach us a lesson, I just think all the wisdom in the world will not help you if you refuse to see beyond your fears and follow the person playing on them with the skill of a true con artist. This guy is slick.

I am listening to all sides, but the warning signs are there.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Moving things around

A memory of the day my church office was almost vacated.

Updating what I reported on Facebook, my personal space has gone from semi public to private. This great room home had an alcove which we returned we returned to its original intent, a formal dining room. This allowed Laura to use all her favorite pieces of furniture and placed me in the guest bedroom with the ability to close the door. And to reactivate my second TV. All good things. So we have been placing lights and pictures and creating a comfortable living space.

All this without A/C in the back part of the house. Thanks to going through a warranty company we have endured this heat wave with sleeping conditions in the high 80s. Yuck.

We have a really nice inflatable bed for guests, and one day will have the casita as well for guests.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Honoring Ed G.

Led a memorial for a Ed G. today. He passed six days before his 103rd Birthday, so we had cake. A WWII Veteran, long work life, long retirement, out lived two wives. Never took a prescription medicine in his life.

Had a big young black mark, in his early 20s he left wife and two infants and ran off with wife #2, the next door neighbor. I did not know that, but the old retired military officer who received the flag today was the son who was left out of so much of his fathers life. All these decades later the broken parts of that youthful abandonment managed to come back into a relationship that was reconciled.

I kind of hope that happened a lot, in this life, and hopefully in the next. It would fit the character of a reconciling God.

Friday, July 15, 2016

10 Week Report

This room in Kauai last October had no A/C, but the proximity to the ocean helped.

When I think of the things that can truly change your experience of life, attitude is very high on the list. A negative or fearful thought can cast a pall over the whole of life. Guard your heart above all.

There are so many emotions that come with transitioning out of your careers. We are really realizing that we need things to do, and of course if we made some income it would help our overall planning. And if it is true that no one knocks on your door when you are retired then we need to decide what doors we want to knock on. And that's what we are starting to think about.

Our Compressor died on the Bedroom A/C, and its hot back there. We are dealing with a warranty company which makes it more difficult, and we are facing night three and no hope for the weekend. If it gets to 110 at 4 pm then the bedroom is over 90. We take turns sleeping on the air mattress in the living room.

Every time I think that radical violence has hit a new low, like burning people alive, then a new low comes by plowing down innocent men, women, and children. This has to sooner or later bring us together against the sheer lunacy of ideological terrorism.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Birthday Reflections

Life passes by and it seems quick after its gone. In the middle of a dreadfully hot summer each day sludges forward and fall seems eons away. I have been young and now I am old. Sixty Six is a young old age and a half decade that I have not fully prepared for, as the emotions of the last two months have shown.

I am young in retirement age, so I begin a new birthday year with good balance in my spirit and good hopes and expectations of some great times ahead. Thanks for thinking of me.

Birthday Reflections

Life passes by and it seems quick after its gone. In the middle of a dreadfully hot summer each day sludges forward and fall seems eons away. I have been young and now I am old. Sixty Six is a young old age and a half decade that I have not fully prepared for, as the emotions of the last two months have shown.

I am young in retirement age, so I begin a new birthday year with good balance in my spirit and good hopes and expectations of some great times ahead. Thanks for thinking of me.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Violence and Revenge and Murder

Remembering a long morning walk a few summers ago on Pensacola Beach.

No easy answers to what we are facing, no easy finger pointing, hopefully a long shift of realization that our foundations need to be focused on peace, justice, non violence, addressing societal and religious divides. We have a poor track record of taking that path and remembering what fruit revenge, hate and violence produce.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Avoiding Controversy as a personality type

Volcanic creation of land on the Big Island.

The other day I was reading an article challenging Christians not to be so reactive to the creation/evolution discussion. I accidently hit the publish button and had a moment of realization that lots of sweet friends and relatives who have no skin in that game would be invited to read it.

Then I realized that I am a retired person who is free to share and defend helpful ideas. As it turned out only one of my oldest mentors took issue with the article. He assummed that I would be convinced the rightness of the young earth position if I searched out Answers in Genesis, whose recent attempts to defend a KJV literal understanding of Genesis as defendable science have made the news with their now two museums. years the scare tactics and irrationality of Ken Hamm and associates have helped drive me to better research. Over a decade ago I read many books by Christian scholars who embrace an old earth. To attempt to make it a fundamental to faith is to drive intelligent people away from the gospel.

Genesis was written as story, and not intended to be read through our modern western knowledge and assumptions. It is, in my opinion, an unfortunate place to take a stand for cultural drift.

I really do not enjoy online discussions unless I am not involved, my personality reacts to arguements and dissagreements with stress. Nevertheless I am learning the importance of testing my faith and listening to others.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Church Search Report- The Grove

The Grove is a missional church, started by the son of Missionaries, contemporary, evangelical, with a new worship center that features a center platform. Sort of in the square. I was struck by the different seating arraingments, some for kids, some couches, some pews, rising in a large square around the center. The predominate design feature in the use of old boards of different textures and colors around the walls. I liked the feel, long with state of the art sound and four strategically arranged video boards.

The music was full but not overwhelming, had heard none but they were easy to follow with a six person band, the lead singer and a young lady soprano did a great job involving and leading the crowd, one updated hymn at the close. The Jr. High pastor started a one month series on Proverbs that was organized and well spoken with great analogies.

When I lived in Mississippi our church supported this mans father at Arifican Bible College in Malawi, and this church just sent over a hundred to minister in the area last month. This was a good experience for us, and in our consideration for the future. Ten Minute drive away.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A satisfying Tarzan Adventure

A Spider home in a rotten desert tree.

CGI has changed the game in animal interaction with man films, as Mowgli was cute, Tarzan was overpowering. I had my love of reading sparked by the original Edgar Rice Burroughts novels in Elementary School. I would get a new one when I finished the one I was reading when we took a trip from Troy Alabama to Montgomery every month.

When I brought some of my library home after retiring those books came too, and are sitting in my closet as a permanent reminder that reading makes us full of imagination and promise.

How can we not like the repeated attempts to do the novels justice when the greatest Tarzan ever, Johnny Weismuller could not act his way out of a paper bag, I mean those early Tarzans were embarrassing, but I still loved the ideas they represented about our connection to those who birth us and those who raise us, and the animal nature we all share in the instinct for survival.

Loved the flashbacks, loved the rescue of the loving and confident wife, loved the attempts to modernize one of my favs, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.