Little Bit of Fun

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66

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Yeah…I committed the unpardonable sin.

I told the age of a woman. Remember those admonitions? “Never ask a woman how old she is.”  Besides, it has been my experience most of them will “lie” and say “29” or “39” or some such silly number. Especially when they have a 20 something child.

Specifically I told the age of my wife…today…she turns 66. I have a staff meeting this morning and she will sleep in a little but this afternoon she wants me to take her to see Hidden Figures at our local theater (we are crashing a homeschool private showing to do so). She saw it Saturday with some friends and asked if I would take her to see it again. Following that we will be meeting Tami for supper at Texas Roadhouse (unless she changes her mind…which I understand is a woman’s prerogative).

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We had a great day yesterday. The leadership has been telling the people they had an important announcement to make for several weeks now. I understand now it made some people rather nervous. At the gym this morning one of the guys (who was unable to be there) asked me about the announcement. When I asked him what he thought it was, he said, “Usually one of two things. Either the building program is getting started or you are leaving.” I told him I wasn’t going anywhere. We did announce the money has all come in for not only the youth addition but we will also be able to pay off the mortgage. We will, by God’s grace, be totally debt free! That was a reason to rejoice and clap…and we did!

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Woke up this morning to cold weather and a dusting of snow. We can’t complain though. Plus I’d rather have a dusting any day than have to shovel for hours. Have a great week! I’ll be back!!

Virus

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

These days it is not unusual to hear “you have a virus.” And so those dreaded words hit us like a ton of bricks because most likely they will also mean quarantine in our bedroom (at best our house), loads of fluids, and many moments of sleep. (Hmmmm I am wondering if one can fake a virus for some blessed sleep?)

But my absence from this blog and other blogs has not been because of a virus. Least, not mine. Other than having the aches and pains and need for sleep like many other 64 year old codgers, my life has been infected by another kind of virus. One, in this case, which was even more insidious than the physical kind.

MY. COMPUTER. HAS. A. VIRUS.

A bad one. Last Thursday I spent over 1 1/2 hours waiting while my server spun emptying or deleting or writing emails. It spun seemingly endlessly as I tried to type. “Mozilla not responding” or “Word not responding” became permanently etched in my screen (or at least my psyche). More than once I asked someone if they had a gun or a baseball bat. A scan started on Sunday morning for malware revealed almost a 1000 viruses-brought on by a screen saver and a download of Chrome. So repair was started. And I waited. And I waited. Tuesday morning it finally said the Repairing disk was done. Yeah, in a pig’s eye. The whole process started all over again and when I tried to run a malware scan it said the program didn’t exist. Say what? Infected is what Ryan, the techgeek, said.

He ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie!  So he told me to switch computers and he will take mine home to perform surgery on it. It is so nice to have a computer that works. No hesitation in mail. No spinning and waiting. I have to go a little out of my way for sure since this one does not have my Bookmarks nor recognizes my Username and Password exactly. But we can deal with that since the. computer. works.

Hence, this post after an absence of over a week. Lots has happened. I hope to bring you up to “snuff” as time moves on. As for me…I am glad my computer is feeling better.

Timeless

Monday, October 10th, 2016

I have arrived safe and sound from a weekend in Ohio. I wrote about it here. I had a fantastic time. My right arm is a little sore of throwing a football countless times to a never-tiring grandson whose imagination goes wild. He had us in stitches several times during the weekend. I hope and pray his imagination never goes on the fritz and dies.

I’m a little rushed knowing what is facing me the rest of the week. A C-section delivery, a lunch appointment with my my wife and daughter, a Day of Service meeting at 5:00 and a movie to make popcorn for as a “Master Popper” at 6:00. (Yeah I’ll be a bit late). Wednesday is another non-stop day even though the kids are on Fall Break. And, of course, I need to find time to ride or work out. You know…the important stuff. 🙂

When I got back home I had a birthday card waiting for me. He included a saying in it:

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. Henry Ford

While I may not agree it is the greatest thing in life, it is certainly a very important part of it. I turned 64 Sunday. I have no clue how long God has me living on this earth, but I don’t want to waste away. I don’t want to stop learning. I don’t want to stop reading. I don’t want to stop enjoying life (my adventure). This sums up my thoughts (a gift from my secretary):

adventure-box

That is timeless. What are you waiting for?

OutaHere!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

I’m outahere.

Not outatime.

outatime

This weekend we are taking off for Ohio. It has been since this past July that we have seen our grandson, Braden. He was playing baseball at the time. He’s pretty good for a little guy (but I’m not the least bit prejudiced).

He is also playing football. Dynamite comes in small packages they say. I think he fits that bill. He has been playing for over a month now and my schedule (or is it his?) has not allowed us to see him play. It has been over 3 months since I have been out of the pulpit so a break is needed. Now…whether it is for the folks here or for me is probably up for grabs. 🙂 Anyway, we will be heading out Saturday and returning Monday sometime.

An added bonus: he plays Sunday, which also happens to be my 64th birthday. I told him the best present he can give me is to play hard, knock somebody on their tush, and win. Okay…so I didn’t say that “tush part.” But I would love to see them win! We also plan to eat out with them. Braden used to call it “Grandpa’s house.” Code name for Texas Roadhouse. I can taste that salmon already. 🙂

All that to say I will be out of commission until Tuesday at the earliest. I plan to take a pretty good media break as well. So I may read your posts but I seriously doubt you will know (aka I probably won’t comment). I’d appreciate your prayers for a safe trip for me, Jo & Tami, as well as for Ryan, who will be preaching his weekend on the church at Philadelphia.

Oh one more thing: a spitting image of his good-looking grandfather

braden-picture

See the resemblance? Other than being good-looking, I don’t either. Have a great and safe weekend!

BeingThere

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

One of my favorite quotes by Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary to the Auca Indians, is “Wherever you are be all there.” Lately I have had trouble being here. Shoot, I’ve had trouble being anywhere. It seems like I’ve been going a thousand different directions lately. Then I read this:

“When George Mallory was once asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he famously answered, ‘Because it is there.’ But in a personal letter to his wife, Ruth, he revealed even more about what drove him to climb the mountain. ‘Dearest,’ he wrote, ‘…you must know that the spur to do my best is you and you again…I want more than anything to prove worthy of you.’ George left a meaningful legacy that proved worthy of history’s remembrance. But George’s son John wrote something that has challenged me. Proud of his father but sad too, John wrote, ‘I would so much rather have known my father than to have grown up in the shadow of a legend, a hero, as some people perceive him to be.'” (The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine-p.78)

I’ve noticed (as I’m sure you have also) life goes in seasons. Busy. Not busy. Crazy busy. Not so busy. Steady. Lull. You get the point. Today is one of those crazy busy seasons. My mind has wandered. I stopped and got both Jo and me a Polar Pop (yeah I know it isn’t good for me) and almost made it to the office before I remembered I had her pop. Sheesh!

So this small section out of this excellent book stopped me dead in my tracks. As Tim Hawkins says in his video, “I need to be centered.” Watch him. He is a hoot.

I’m preaching to myself here. Maybe you too?

TheWeek

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Sunday I used this illustration. You may have heard it before:

Once upon a time there were twin brothers. One optimistic. One pessimistic. For the sake of understanding their differences, their mother enlisted the help of a noted psychologist.

The psychologist instructed her to put the pessimist in a room filled with various sizes and shapes of wrapped presents. The optimistic child was to be placed in a room filled with manure.

With this task done, the mother and psychologist visited the children to gauge each one’s response to his circumstances. They found the pessimistic child sitting among his presents, gazing at them in complete disbelief. When asked why he had not opened any, he simply stated, “They couldn’t possibly be for me!”

Moving on to the next child, they were a bit concerned to see no sign of him in the manure-filled room. They called for him, and his head emerged from one of the piles. When asked what he was doing, he answered, “With this much mess, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

Fanciful. Probably not true. But telling. You/I have a brand new week ahead of us. We can choose to make it a bummer of a week or we can choose to make it a week of good things.

Choose wisely.

Fun

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

IMG_5539

I’ve had a fun week. I know I haven’t been here at all. Life has a way of doing that. Fun takes in different views for different people.

My Monday “fun” included painting a living room and hallway in preparation for new carpet. About 5 years ago we took out our old kitchen carpet and had it tiled.  Fantastic addition but the smell of pets from the previous owner was still there. We then took out the living room and hallway carpet because we couldn’t get it clean anymore AND the smell of pets was still there. We don’t have dogs (and definitely not cats!) For one, our grandson is allergic to dander; second, we can’t agree on the type of dog; and third, our life is too hectic to have a dog we would not see or be able to take out very much. Now today (Thursday) we get new carpet.  Neither of us like hardwood floors plus they used the floor as their drop cloth when they painted.  Why did I put quotation marks around “fun?” Because even though I ride a bike 100-200 miles a week and work out at the Y, I ached all over Monday evening. I don’t call that fun.

But my real fun came Wednesday afternoon. The above picture shows me speaking to a classroom at the local elementary school (the teacher attends OVCF) about the Titanic. I spent about an hour with a delightful group of 5th graders who have spent two weeks researching and studying the history of the Titanic. Mrs. Samick (Kris) also gave each of them a name of a passenger and they were to research that name and find out if they survived that evening. I presented Kris with a 1000 piece puzzle I did and put in a frame for her. I had each student sign it on back with their real name and “Titanic name” and add whether they lived or died. I had a blast! Thanks Kris for inviting me. This is the display outside the classroom some of her IAs made for her.

school titanic display

43

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

I’m going to be absent today from this blog and any other blog.

Today I celebrate #43 with my bride. I plan to ride early this morning. We will be making our way to the church camp to visit some faculty and campers. Lunch, I suspect, will either be Chipotle or HuHot Mongolian Grill. We like them both.

They said we were too young. (She was 21 and I was 20).

They said we should finish school first. (We only had one year left so we finished together).

Some doubted it would last.

I was athletic; you were not. I was tall; you were/are not. I was/am a morning person; you were/are not.  🙂

Two adult daughters. One son-in-law and one grandson. 8 churches. More vehicles than I care to admit. Several pounds. Less hair.

We are still in love. Still together. Still serving. It has been easy. It has been hard. There has been job losses. There have been joyful ministries (like now).

We will continue to serve Jesus.

So…why am I writing this? Well…it is way too early for Jo to be up.  But I must bid adieu so I can head out for my early morning ride. It is 6:15. {My note: 26.2 Yeah…I’m bragging} 🙂  Have a great day!

HOT

Monday, June 13th, 2016

After having a warm April and very wet and cool (some might downright chilly) May, June has finally brought the summer HEAT to our area. When I say summer HEAT I am not exaggerating. The weekend was typical August weather…except it is June. 🙂 But I am not one to complain about the weather. I decided long time ago it was not in my best interest to complain about the weather SINCE I HAVE NO CONTROL OR SAY IN IT!

I rode 24.5 this past Saturday in the heat. Some might say I am nuts. I beg to differ, of course. 🙂 🙂

I wanted to draw the line though yesterday. The past couple of weeks our main auditorium’s air conditioning has been somewhat squirrely. I came in yesterday to turn it down and the stat said 74. Early morning that is ok. When I went in about an hour or so later to practice my sermon the stat said 76. Aaaaahhhhh not good. You probably know by now…it was not working.  Our windows don’t open. Fans can only do so much when it is 88 outside.

I texted our HVAC man. He attends here. During our exchange he was talking about another church which has all 4 of their units down. Yikes! Anyway, during our exchange he told me I could possibly turn the stats down in the other part of the building and maybe that would help. I told him the nursery already gets like an iceberg. We would have kids coming out as popsicles. And here is where Mark’s “sense of humor” kicks in. He tells me how I “could talk about the nursery being comfortable as a new born-less sinner. As we get older and sin without God we are going down explaining the heat. LOL” Laughingly I told him “that would go over big!”

We had another who was putting up hay. Yeah…you know what’s coming. “You gotta make hay while the sun is shining.” 🙂

So…how’s that for a random…nonsensical post? Hey, it’s Monday. I’ve moved three rooms in the house. Shampooed two of them (the shampooer quit on the third). I’ve driven to church camp three times in a week. I have a grill to put together. I gotta have some fun somehow. Oh yeah…I do plan to ride today.

TraveloguePictures

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Rather than try to insert these into the post I thought I would just start a new one. Here is the one from the Pirate baseball game at PNC Park. It was a beautiful night for baseball and was even better when the Buccos won 12-1. We left in the 8th inning. Rob said, “If they lose with this lead, I don’t think I want to be here.” I laughed. The man is also wearing my favorite player’s jersey.

ballgame1

When I rode the trail I hit a little burg called Whitesett. I decided to get off the hard-packed trail and get on asphalt. I turned left I came across this log home (a dream of mine & Jo’s only not this big). It was a gorgeous home!

log home1loghome2

Riding on a little further I needed to find a place to stop. (‘Nuff said). I came upon this field in Whitesett built-as you can see-by Pirate Charities. It was a fantastic baseball diamond, well-maintained, and spacious. It also included a really cool picnic pavilion and area. Way to go Pirate charities! Many small communities are left out of adequate facilities due to finances. They made it happen for this community.

Piratecharity

I rode early Saturday morning while in Ohio. I have ridden this route frequently before and have always passed this park/haven. I needed to stop this time and decided to take a picture.

bikehaven

26 miles later I pulled up alongside my other steed (2012 Nissan Frontier). One requires my effort; one requires none at all. Can you guess which is which?

2 steeds

And here…ladies and gents…is the dude. He is a never-stopping whirl of activity. He is also an exceptional young man who takes after his grandpa. (Yeah, I had to say that). He had his summer haircut (a fresh Mohawk) done the day before, but as you can tell it will lay flat. He is not into gel. 🙂

dude's mohawk

Sorry I wasn’t able to include the pictures in the other post. Taking pictures is sort of new to me. I forget to take them because I get wrapped up in what I am doing. Besides, it took Tami (my oldest daughter) to show me how to make this happen. Maybe I will remember how to do it myself next time. (But don’t hold your breath).