Monday, December 25, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
So maybe the guy is a bit frustrated and disappointed but think about how the owner of the other car is going to feel. Imagine that you are the other guy/gal. Would you feel as if you had just been given a gift? Would you feel blessed? Lucky? Special? Chosen? Would it make a difference in how you went about your day? In the way you treat others?
In the midst of the busyness and distractions of the season I am reminded that through God's gift of Christmas each of us has been given a gift, we are chosen and blessed, and yes, it should make a difference.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I am sure that the story of the birth of our fifth grandchild, Jenna Ellie, will become a family legend. After 12 hours of labor, two ambulance rides, a Medevac Flight, and time in intensive care units, mother and child arrived home 67 hours after Jena's birth. Words cannot express our gratitude to those who prayed and those who cared for Susan and Jena. In this season of miracles, we know firsthand the power of God's love.
Jena with her Dad and Big Brother
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Having said all this, is the film worth seeing? Yes, I believe it is. The location filming is beautiful and authentic looking. The scenes of daily life are, I believe, quite accurate. Herod's paranoia and evil are dramatically portrayed. The young actress who plays Mary, Keisha Castle-Hughes, last seen in "Whale Rider, is believable. Unfortunately, most of the other characters are played as Biblical cardboard cutouts reading their lines. I believe the creators of this film missed an opportunity to humanize the characters while at the same time staying true to the Biblical account. "The Nativity Story" doesn't thrill and it should.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
a morning shower, the taste of grapefruit, an encouraging word, the sound of my grandchildren calling me "PopPop", my wife's kiss, a donut and coffee, my daughter's belly round with pregnancy, the acolyte's sparkly gold shoes sticking out from under her robe, a stranger's kindness, making "Mickey Mouse" pancakes, a new cd playing in the car stereo, holding hands, hearing the words; "I love you" and saying them in return, and I am most grateful for the children and grandchildren in the photo below.
What would be on your list? I invite you to take a moment and reflect on those "good things that the Lord has surrounded us with". Happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
This is a picture from an article called, "The Rescuing Hug." The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Apparently, each were in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby's heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.
They both survived, and are thriving! In fact, now that the two girls are home, they still sleep together, and still snuggle. The hospital changed their policy after they saw the effect of putting the two girls together, and now they bed multiples together.
Ensign magazine May '98 pg. 94 Adapted from the Readers Digest article "A Sister's Helping Hand" May 1996 Pp. 155-56
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Isaac enters Church
As mentioned in previous blog, I donned clown make up for the first time after a long hiatus this past Sunday. Here are some photos of the event. The skit was about managing all the resources God has given us.
Isaac requests a piece of cake from Merry HugglesIsaac InvitesIsaac prays
Monday, October 16, 2006
Maybe that is why people react in such strong ways to my clown character. His vulnerability invokes their vulnerability. I felt like I really connected on a deep level with people yesterday. It felt good. It felt right.
Friday, October 06, 2006
I really like this song, "The Bridge", from the CD "The Captain and The Kid", by Elton John. What does the "bridge" symbolize?
Courage? Faith? Risk? Death? The future?
Here are the lyrics to this song that some critics are calling "Elton John's best in years."
What do you think "The Bridge" symbolizes?
You can listen to the song at AOL by clicking here.
I've seen the bridge and the bridge is long
And they built it high and they built it strong
Strong enough to hold the weight of time
Long enough to leave some of us behind
chorus: And every one of us has to face that day
Do you cross the bridge or do you fade away
And every one of us that ever came to play
Has to cross the bridge or fade away
Standing on the bridge looking at the waves
Seen so many jump, never seen one saved
On a distant beach your song can die
On a bitter wind, on a cruel tide [repeat chorus]
And the bridge it shines
Oh cold hard iron
Saying come and risk it all
Or die trying [repeat chorus]
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Quick trip to Vermont to see grandson Noah and his parents.
August 29th. Back to work. E-mails, phone messages, deadlines. Hospital visits. Rally Day! Hosted picnic for 125+ people. A back yard wedding, with accompanying thunderstorm. Three baptisms. Funeral of a beloved parishioner and friend, age 60. Cardiologist warns that my schedule must be kept under control. More medical tests ordered. Sonny and Cher got it right.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
On Monday we drove to Blue Mountain Lake and toured the Adirondack Museum. Our last visit was twenty years ago and things have really changed. The museum now covers 35 acres and contains exhibits on every aspect of Adirondack life and history. We spent three delightful hours there and still did not see everything. In the evening we checked into our cabin at The Snowy Mountain Inn at Indian Lake and enjoyed a delicious dinner. I had grilled talapia and Mary had a smoked filet mignon. Yummy!
Early the next morning we gathered at the Adirondack Rafting Company in Indian Lake to prepare for our day on the river. After getting outfitted with wet suit, splash jacket, life jacket, and helmet; we were ready to board the bus for the 10 minute ride to the launch point. The trip begins on the Indian River with the dam releasing a "bubble" of water which floats the rafts out to the Hudson River. At the launch point we were assigned to our rafts and Mary and I found ourselves in the company of Phil and his daughter, Anna, from Michigan; Kari and Dan from England, who are in the states to play in a lacrosse tournament; and our guide, Mike. Mike has guided on the river for 9 years and filled us with confidence as he gave clear and simple instructions. The photo below is from our very first set of rapids. Mary and I are in the second row from the front. We were on the river for almost 5 hours. Sometimes we were paddling hard in category 3 & 4 rapids and at other times we were floating gently in the current. We did not see a road, a house, or any people on shore the entire trip. This part of the Hudson River Gorge remains untouched by civilization and is quite beautiful. It was an exciting day and Mary and I managed to remain inside the raft the entire trip. We returned to the Snowy Mountain Inn exhausted at 5:30 pm and took naps before dinner. On this night our host made us smoked pulled pork BBQ with cole slaw and baked beans. On Wednesday morning we drove to Old Forge, NY where we boarded the mail boat for a three hour cruise on the chain of Fulton Lakes. This is a working mail boat and we made about 40 stops that morning. It was a wonderful way to see the lakes and experience a task that has been happening every summer since 1910. Mary and I continue to enjoy the trip through the photos and our memories.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Haven't posted in a while. Very busy. Stressful and sad time. Friend Roy died. I met him in high school and our families became friends after we were both married and had our first daughters. We laughed, drank, ate, camped, fished, and celebrated together. Weddings and holidays and graduations. Over 40 years of conversations shared and cards played. We would get together only once or twice a year during the past couple of decades. It was like we were never apart. You know the kind of friendship I mean. The comfortable kind. Roy fought a short battle with a very aggressive cancer. Three weeks before his death we were at his son's wedding. Roy smiled, laughed, and joked. The morphine got him through the pain and his love for his family and friends took him the rest of the way. He danced with his wife that night. I'm grateful for that.
I have begun the process of saying goodbye to the people of the faith community that I have shared my life with these past twenty years. My departure is six months away but there is much work to be done. We've been meeting in small groups to talk about change. About the inevitability, sadness, excitement, and blessing that change brings to our lives. Stories are shared. Some are sad, others funny. Most were terrifying. We got through changes in the past and we will all get through this one. I know.
This summer I taught a 5 week course on St. Paul and his writings. Around twenty five people a week would gather on our back porch and we would read his 2,000 year old words. Honest words; words about conflict and pain and suffering and faith and hope. Words written to first century believers in the midst of change. Rejoice, Paul implores his readers over and over to Rejoice. No matter what the circumstances, Rejoice!
I begin a three week vacation this evening but that is not why I am rejoicing. My heart is filled with joy because their is a cool breeze blowing in the window, my grandson's kiss is still wet on my cheek, and I can hear the laughter of young people drifting across the yard. I rejoice because I was blessed with a friendship of over 40 years. Thank you, Roy.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
My life, at times, feels like a juggling act. There are more balls in the air then I have the ability to juggle. I only have two hands, one brain, 24 hours a day, and limited patience with myself and others. The stress of keeping all the balls moving in a pattern that doesn't result in catastrophe is intense.
Watch this video of young juggler, Vova Galchenko. Click Here. Notice the concentration, watch his eyes, see the joy on his face. Pay attention and you will see the secret to great juggling. It's about letting go. Vova can only catch the next ball if he lets go of the one that he is holding.
Ah, letting go. Trusting the process. Vova is always looking up, watching the beautiful pattern that is being created. He doesn't focus on his hands, on the catching and grabbing and holding on; his attention is on the letting go and the rhythm that results.
We don't juggle alone. That is the divine promise. Jesus taught a lot about holding on and letting go and said, "Trust in the Father and also, trust in me." Keep juggling!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
PC and Keith
I just returned from Senior High Camp. Fifty eight campers, ages 13 to 18; eighteen staff, ages 19 to 61. Eighteen of the campers were young people who had just graduated from High School last weekend. This years' theme was Still In One Peace. We talked about pain, stress, grief, sorrow, suffering, conflict and all those things which cause us to break into pieces. We then learned about and practiced faith, love, forgiveness, joy, laughter, silliness, worship, prayer and all those things which bring about peace. It is difficult to put this years' experience into words because words are limited in their ability to capture emotion and reality. Here's my best try.
Senior High Camp is exciting, exhausting, exhilarating.
Complete, complex, compassionate, caring, and carefree.
Holy, happy, hilarious, heavenly, holistic.
Joyful, jocular, just, and Jesus-centered.
Real, ridiculous, righteous.
Thought provoking and tear inducing.
Senior High Camp is an experience filled with laughter, love, and lessons.
Jello, jokes, and jumping for joy.
Sharing, striving, succeeding.
Dancing, drama, and daring.
Coffee, cookies, candy.
Rain, rain, and more rain.
Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil
Guitar ManJello Sucking
To see a video of campers doing the Nooma Nooma Dance click here!!!!!
And to see a video of the Thriller Dance click here!!!!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
What happened to the summers I remember from my childhood? Those "lazy, hazy days of summer". This prayer by Ted Loder, from "Guerrillas of Grace", is my daily mantra this season as I live in the tension between responsibilities and what God calls "sabbath time".