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I Have No Problems

Published for Saturday - May 11, 2024

IHNP

Written Thursday - 05/09/24 7:00 PAM

When I think of all of the challenges there are out there and how many people I know facing those challenges, I realize I have no problems. I remember writing a song about this very thing.

The chorus went something like this:

I have no problems,

I've suffered no great loss.

For He took my problems,

When He died upon the cross.

I often think about all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I truly have no problems at all and I've suffered no great loss as I wrote in my song.

You know, this balance challenge that I face has sort of been a blessing in disguise. I can still get around and for the most part am able to keep things as close to normal (for me anyway) as possible.

If given a choice, I'd run outside and even in the rain before I would get on a treadmill. But I haven't been given a choice. It's treadmill or no running at all. And so treadmill it is, but at least I'm still running and it's something I can still do despite life's challenges.

Lord, help me to always focus on what I can do and to always look to you for the inner strength required to make adjustments when and where necessary. Thank you, Father.




Jesus Revolution

Published for Friday - May 03, 2024

Jesus Revolution 3

Written Thursday - 05/01/24 6:25 PM

Just watched Jesus Revolution again. This time I also watched the many 'making of' segments.

I was blown away with how many other big productions the team has made and I was also blown away with how many other big productions so much of the cast had done.

I had no idea that an entire hour of footage would wind up on the cutting room floor. Like the directors said, I have no idea how they were able to leave so many of those beautiful scenes out of the film, just to whittle the length of the movie down close to 1.5 hours.




Life

Published for Thursday - May 02, 2024

Life

Written Wednesday - 05/01/24 7:15 AM

Just finished a 2 miler. Those things are getting more and more difficult.

I've had spiritual matters on my mind a lot lately. It's just a matter of being so grateful for all that life has brought my way.

Even with my balance challenges I've felt front and center of all that God is doing in my life. And there has been much to be remembered and for which to be grateful.

I have a Dysautonomia doctor's appointment a week from yesterday with Dr. Paula Moore in Birmingham. I would love it if she can find something but I'm not very optimistic about it.

I guess the truth is I don't want to be let down. Perhaps I should take on more a posture of optimism but I'm beginning to see more and more evidence of Parkinson's and wondering if my exercise regimen has delayed any major onset of that in my life.

Either way, I'm thinking that the balance challenge is something with which I'm going to have to learn to live. It may be a life-long thing and if so I can think of a lot worse problems to carry for the rest of my life.

Of course balance challenges are not fun, especially when they seem to be a 24/7 item in my life. But like I said, there are plenty of other matters (some are life-ending) that could be a greater challenge. For example, I haven't lost a limb and I don't have cancer.

That's a different way to look at things. But in the midst of these challenges, I've been giving those matters a lot of thought and remain very grateful that I'm not carrying those burdens.




Our Daughter

Published for Saturday - April 13, 2024

Alliezz

Written Friday - 04/12/24 3:05 PM

Had a very nice chat on the phone with our daughter today. We talked a lot about what God has been doing in our lives and I see the evidence of my wife's incredible wisdom in there.

I have to give both Allie and Josh (her other half) a lot of credit for what God is doing with both of them. Together they are building their own culture and it's a culture that involves two very energetic and two very different boys (or should I say, young men.)

Allie honors me by picking my brain because she indicates one of the boys is a great deal like me. I wish that were true but Noah is so far ahead of where I was at that age. He has capitalized upon all that the Lord has put in front of him.

So has Gabe except he's an adventurer like his father. Gabe is also a lover of animals. For all I know, that may have also come from one of his parents as well, but I see that passion as more of a God thing. God seems to have placed a very big heart, passion, and love in Gabe for all creatures great and small (and particularly those who have a lot of fur.)

Allie continues to be a student of God's Word. I love to hear her share about all that God is showing her and doing in her life. It's an amazing thing to see and hear.

It's equally amazing to see and hear all that He has placed on Josh's heart. I wouldn't want to get in the way of all that guy is doing and all that God seems to be doing through him. Just like with Allie, it is indeed something to behold. What a blessing he is to our family.

Keep up the good work you guys! You're doing some pretty awesome stuff!




Passing the Buck

Published for Thursday - April 11, 2024

Responsibility

Written Wednesday - 04/10/24 7:00 AM

Despite new categories such as investing, and the time I've spent there recently, the spiritual arena is still most important to me. And, my new category called People is another topic that is very important to me.

As far as my 'people' category goes, it's been a number of years since I've been part of a church where 'people' reside.

On the other hand, I'm grateful for the additional time that provides me to spend with my wife, my kids and their spouses, and those two amazing grandsons.

My wife and I have talked about looking into a church but just have not been able to pull the trigger. There's a number of reasons for the place where we find ourselves currently and the fact that we have stepped away from church.

I certainly don't need to defend our thinking on that but I also don't want to miss the Lord if He is trying to get our attention and change our focus.

I'm the first to admit that it can be very difficult trying to explain to someone why we're not in church. But it can be equally difficult to join a church just to have an answer for those folks. I don't want to do that either.

There's a large contingent of folks who have stepped away from Church but not from God. That describes us to a T. The responsibility with which we are faced is very much like owning a business. The blame for any missteps rests totally upon our own shoulders. There's a lot of responsibility tucked in there.

More than that, there's a lot of focus that is generated when you can't pass the buck and we are definitely in a position where we can't pass the buck with what we're doing. We have to own every decision that we make.

Please pray for us in this. More than anything, we want to be open to God's moving and hearing his voice in all of this. And we don't want to get out ahead of Him.




What's So Great About Christianity

Published for Wednesday - April 10, 2024

WSGAC

Written Tuesday - 04/08/24 11:45 AM

It's the latest book I'm reading with my Audible Subscription. In fact, this one is Free and yet a very worth while read. I'm learning so much! I've still got another credit for a free book, but want to finish this one first.

It's a lengthy read and yet power packed from beginning to end. It's written by Dinesh D'Souza. I can't begin to imagine the research that went into this book.

The book is made up of 8 parts spread across 26 chapters and a wide variety of topics. It was released in October of 2007 and has almost 12 hours of read time.




More on Easter

Published for Tuesday - April 02, 2024

Easter 3

Written Sunday - 04/01/24 5:40 PM

Well, as I suggested on the post yesterday, both of the kids and their families did indeed join us for an Easter lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant over in Atalla, AL right across from Walmart. El Patron is the name of the place.

We agreed that it was time well spent together including the time back at the house. All in all, a great day!

I was a bit surprised that we couldn't fit the two bicycles in the Snow family's car, but I suppose they were bigger than we thought. Josh offered to come back by sometime with the truck to pick them up.

Patty and I are so blessed to have the families of our kids make the 1+ hour drive over to spend a short amount of time with us. It's something we don't take for granted.

It's still Easter as I type and the meaning of the day is not lost on all of the time spent together with family. In fact, I can't think of anyone with whom I would rather spend the Holiday. The meal blessing was a moment to remember the day and its meaning. And even now, another moment to remember.

We thank you oh Lord, especially here on Easter, for the gift of your son Jesus Christ and what he means to each of us. We thank you for His life and that, on the third day, he was resurrected. We thank you for the day-to-day guidance of the Holy Spirit and we are grateful that we will spend eternity with Jesus for He is risen, indeed!




Jesus Revolution

Published for Monday - March 25, 2024

Jesus Revolution 2

Written Friday - 03/22/24 2:15 PM

This past Thursday evening, (last night as I write), I checked the price on a movie and it was finally down where I needed it to be. As such, I purchased it. The name of the film was Jesus Revolution and featured Kelsey Grammer and Jonathan Roumie, among others.

I had real reservations going in because it was written about a period in which Patty and I were quite involved. However, and in the spirit of being aware of what God is doing through His People, I really enjoyed it and want to watch it again - perhaps this time with my wife, Patty.

I'm guessing that Jonathan and Amy went to see it when it was in the Theater since they sort of provided Patty with their perspectives of the movie and since she already had a take on it.

Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed the movie. I must admit however, that I watched it through a very different lens than I have used in the past and that probably had a lot to do with why I enjoyed it so much.

I could see that Lonnie Frisbee (played by Jonathan Roumie) sort of went off target in the story. That was hard to see and process since Jonathan Roumie does such a fine job of playing the faultless Jesus in The Chosen.

I thought Kelsey Grammer also knocked it out of the park with his performance. I also enjoyed the performances by by those who played Greg Laurie and and his (girl friend/wife) Catherine (Cathe).

I particularly enjoyed the ending of the flick when they provided a text backstory for what happened later on, after the movie ended. It really made a difference and was a very nice addition to the film.




People

Published for Thursday - March 21, 2024

People

Written Tuesday - 03/19/24 2:35 PM

Yesterday I offered a post that really got me to thinking. In fact, so much so that I created a new category for it. People.

It's not going to be a place into which I naturally fall, but it is a topic where I want to spend more time. In that new category, I've included both this post and the one that led up to it. Yesterday's post.

This is not going to be a write it because it's on my mind or I'm good at it. This is going to be a write it because I want to develop a skill around it.

I find myself often passionate about people I don't know. You know, like in a movie? Even someone who humbles themself like many have done before. Such a posture truly catches my attention. And I want to be more like that person. Their witness speaks to me. I want to be more like Christ - just like they are. And therefore, I want to be like them.

I don't know anyone in the picture above. I grabbed it off of the internet. Still, each of those people has a story to tell. I can look at each person and only imagine what they would tell me if we could talk. I want to develop that kind of passion and listening ear for all whom I meet. And may God give me the opportunity to meet many!

I've done my homework and know what I believe and why I believe it. For me, and more than anything, it's a faith kind of thing. Sure, there's tons of evidence for a supreme being who is also an intelligent designer. That's why I'm sold! I've walked it all the way out to Jesus Christ and I know that He is my savior.

Lord, at the end of the day, I want to be more like so many whom I see out there in my day to day. That's because they are truly living for Christ and that is something I want to make sure I do.

Lord thank you for those who follow you and for their example to me. I pray my focus would be upon people - those I can help and those who can help me grow. Furthermore, let me see them as you see them. Let me see them through your eyes.

Lord, thank you for all of them. You know. People.




Spiritual Stuff

Published for Wednesday - March 20, 2024

Spiritual Stuff 2

Written Tuesday - 03/19/24 1:00 PM

When I started this blog back in September of 2005, the primary focus was to be about running. That was something I did (and am still doing) on a daily basis. It was easy to maintain that singular focus and it attracted other runners who became regular readers.

But now you can find the list of current things I like to write about over in the categories section of the menu in the far-left column. Most bloggers today have video supported by YouTube. That seems to be the trend. And a singular topic still seems to be the way to go when someone wants to attract a regular audience.

But that just doesn't do it for me. I get tired of a single focus and I have no interest in attracting an audience with whom I have to speak. I'm not sure that is a good thing, but it's the way it is. I haven't even mentioned monetizing but have no interest in that either. Is that a bad thing?

If I had to pick my singular topic it would probably be Spiritual. That's because it's where my mind is most of the time. But not always, and that's why I have a categories menu item on my blog.

Because, and as I have said so many times before, this blog is more about a scrapbook of life than any search for a readership. If that's what I have to call it to swim upstream and against the current, then so be it.

Now don't get me wrong. I like and appreciate readers. But I must confess, I'm not a reader. That's why I don't really understand their motivation. And that's why I'm more focused on writing about any and every topic on my mind than developing a readership. If that's what interests a reader out there, then so be it. If not, then so be that too.

It's interesting what people learn about themselves. I have family members who are also not readers. Not my wife, though. She's a real reader. Others in my family have done what I have done. They want to use drive time wisely and/or want to consume things in certain areas and so they subscribe to podcasts and utilize book reading services such as audible.

Even though I take on some of these book reading helps, my Asperger's comes with a wide variety of topics and interests. And, that's what I tend to write about - plain and simple.

I've noticed one thing however. People is not a category in my menu. I sincerely envy those who have a people focus and suspect it would be a more healthy concern for my spiritual focus.

After all, as a Christian, people is what it is and should be about. That's where we're called. To people. Right?

It's difficult to share that but it seems to be true. Even when I think about the Great Commission mentioned in Matthew 28, I realize the primary focus is upon people.

Is it okay to say that I don't have a gifting in that area? After all with or without a gifting, shouldn't that be my focus? People? Wow, deep stuff and tough questions!

Doesn't family count? Are we still called to minister to people (outside of our family unit) in a day and time where it seems so out of the ordinary?

People. That's a lot to think about.




Grace Unplugged

Published for Saturday - March 16, 2024

Grace Unplugged

Written Friday - 03/15/24 8:00 AM

I watched this movie a long time ago but didn't remember anything much about it. The movie is called Grace Unplugged.

It's a nice little story about a young lady who serves in the church praise band with her music leader father, but is confident she has what it takes to make it big out in the 'real' world. It goes deeper but that's the basic gist of the film.

It's a nice story with a very happy ending. Just the way I like 'em.

Looking back, I see that I watched it and wrote about it here back in February of 2022. I guess that means it's been a bit over 2 years since I last watched it. I guess that also means I'm getting more and more prone in my senior years to writing multiple times about the same thing. Oh well...




Touchback

Published for Friday - March 15, 2024

Touchback

Written Wednesday - 03/13/24 4:40 PM

I haven't watched a Pureflix movie that was converted for family viewing. But with this story's premise, I was hooked and had to watch.

The story and the movie were amazing. They only got better as I watched.

I love time travel and I love having my heart tugged. This one had both! It also included Kurt Russell who always makes a great contribution toward bringing a story to life.

I definitely enjoy using the caption feature since my hearing is no longer as good as it used to be. Too much loud music I suppose. Anyway, it was interesting to see how they edited out some language on both the audio track and the caption track.




Do You Believe?

Published for Wednesday - March 13, 2024

Do You Believe?

Written Monday - 03/11/24 8:25 AM

Last night (Sunday) I watched a Pureflix movie that I have seen several times. The title was Do You Believe? There were a lot of big names in the production and, as before, the story was great.

The movie consisted of a lot of stories rolled up into one big story. Also, the stories were realistic and believable.

It was a nice way to wrap up a nice weekend. Now, back to the routine starting with a grocery pickup this morning of new foods for the new eating regimen.

Also, it's getting to be time to get to work on my chores for Patty's garden. I've got a couple of big jobs on the list. We've got a frost warning coming in tonight, but I'm hoping it will be smooth sailing thereafter.




Blessed

Published for Friday - March 08, 2024

Blessed

Written Thursday - 03/07/24 7:45 AM

The picture above is of a book cover. In fact, based on the title, it could be my story.

I have often posted about being blessed. But I can't post about it enough for I am truly blessed. A search produced 44 posts that contain the word on this blogsite.

There are far too many things about which I am blessed to list here. I was thinking about that last night as I tried to make some adjustments to my weight training program.

That's another area in which I am truly blessed. Despite my balance problems I've got good health and am able to run on the treadmill and do my weight training. That's not bad when considering I'm approaching the 70 yard line of life. I've seen a lot worse for those who are younger than me.

I just don't want to give up on things as it seems others may have done. I don't want to burden my wife with caring for me and I definitely don't want to use aids that I don't yet need in life.

Recently I saw a man bent over double and trying to walk into the Publix Supermarket. God bless him for getting out and I pray that I don't ever have to deal with that kind of thing in my life.




Finished

Published for Monday - March 04, 2024

The Book of God 2

Written Sunday - 03/03/24 1:45 PM

Well, as I type here on Sunday afternoon, I have just finished The Book of God. What an incredible presentation of the Bible in the format of a novel.

I was definitely not let down by the transition to the New Testament and, more importantly, the Jesus story. What a wonderful journey that was.

I was sure that the last chapter (50) which was the epilogue would include the return of Jesus. Much to my suprise, that was covered in the last chapter or two of the book. As such, I wondered what would be included in the epilogue?

Of course. It was Paul's story. I should have known.




The Book of God

Published for Sunday - March 03, 2024

The Book of God

Written Saturday - 03/02/24 8:35 AM

I'm into part 4 of 8 parts on this book. It's 50 chapters and as I type I don't remember which chapter I'm reading. Somewhere near the middle I suppose.

I agree with so many others that have commented on the reading of this book. It's read aloud by the author and gets a bit loud and strong for my taste in listening. Apparently a lot of others feel the same way.

I like the way the author has focused on the important characters. Even in areas where there are no 'big' characters he spends time which I believe is important.

I'm looking forward to my transition to the New Testament and what The Book of God has to say about that and about Jesus. The author is Walter Wangerin Jr. and the idea behind the book is writing the Bible as a novel. My wife loves it and has already downloaded other books by this author. She is a voracious reader and reads the downloaded books on her Kindle.




Born to Win

Published for Saturday - March 02, 2024

Born to Win

Written Friday - 03/01/24 7:05 AM

Born to Win was one of those incredible stories that I really wanted to share with Patty. And so I did last night.

Oddly enough I quit watching it the first time I saw it. In fact, I told Patty about that and that it's a slow starter. She seemed a bit surprised at my comment. Since we were already in it, perhaps she didn't see things that way.

Still, it was a touching story and based on a true story. I love those stories that take you down a deep spiritual road and this one did.

The movie is from the same folks that produced Faith Like Potatoes. I may have to go back and give that film a bit more of a fair shot too. I'm not sure that I did.




Prayer

Published for Friday - March 01, 2024

Prayer

Written Wednesday - 02/28/24 7:05 AM

Well, I was at the Walmart in Atalla this past Monday doing our regularly scheduled grocery pickup. All was very normal leaving the house and getting to the store.

Even the grocery pickup was normal and I wrote good reviews for Lavonne and Tommy - my grocery loaders. But that's where normalcy ended.

Trying to crank the car to head home produced very odd results. The car dash panel started doing very funny things. A bit of thinking led me to believe I had a dead battery.

I tried to open the hood but the latch would not let me do anything that opened the hood. I must have tried to open the hood several times and each time got back in the car to try and crank the car. Each time with the same result. In fact, it became very clear to me that I did indeed have a dead battery and I finally got the hood opened.

Fortunately, the Lord grabbed my attention which doesn't happen that often. I lifted up the situation to him since I was really stuck and had no idea what to do.

Within seconds after I gave the situation to the Lord, Lavonne walked out without any groceries as if he was going home for the day or at least headed to his car. I explained my situation to him and he asked me to wait while he went over to the auto shop. Again, he asked me to wait and said he would be right back.

True to his word, he returned shortly and had a rather large device in his hands. He was able to use it to jump my car off and to measurer my battery strength. He confirmed the very dead battery after cranking the car. While he was gone I called Patty to let her know the situation.

I mentioned to him that I needed to go ahead while I was there and buy a new battery for the car and to have it installed. He told me where the auto shop was and walked over there to meet me. He explained my situation to the guys in the shop and then told me that I would not be charged for the installation. I explained that I would like to pay for it but he wouldn't let me.

Two guys, I don't remember their names, did a great and timely job and I was on my way home. I called Patty at the house to update her again and was home not long after.




Diving Deeper

Published for Sunday - February 18, 2024

Deeper

Written Saturday - 02/17/24 2:05 PM

Life presents so many distractions. Sometimes it's difficult to discern the difference between a distraction and a reality.

Sometimes, I tend to treat them the same. But, I shouldn't. Instead, I should ask God to provide an understanding of which is which.

That's because distractions are things that too often keep our focus away from God and that too often could have been completely ignored. Realities are things we must deal with, most often after prayer where we request guidance and wisdom from God.

It's almost sad how distractions always seem like emergencies and seem to leave no room for (at the very least) a quick consult with God.

Distractions tend to shock us and tend to make us want to get involved before we talk about it with God. Realities on the other hand tend to bring with them the ability to seek God's guidance - even when they come quickly and tend to require one or more quick responses.

I guess the simple rule of thumb is to be cautious around things that seem like an emergency. They might be a distraction. And, they might be better left along and completely ignored.

Realities, on the other hand, require a real response. Even when an item proves to be both a reality and an emergency, there's always an opportunity to seek God's guidance. Even when it only involves a quick plea for the Holy Spirit's strength and guidance as we launch into a clearly urgent matter.

Lord, help me to know the difference between the distractions and the realities that come my way. Help me to always seek your counsel on the realities and to steer clear of the distractions.




Champion

Published for Monday - February 12, 2024

Champion

Written Saturday - 02/10/24 10:45 AM

As I typie it's Saturday morning. Last night I watched a wonderful movie.

The movie was hosted by Pureflix and titled Champion. Despite how much I like Andrew Cheney who played the lead character and is also featured in two other movies I really like (Seasons of Gray - 2013 and 77 Chances - 2015) I feared that the race car theme was going to be a bit over the top and cut into the story.

Was I ever wrong. The story centered on forgiveness and was as good as I've seen in a very long time.




Faith

Published for Sunday - February 11, 2024

Faith 2

Written Friday - 02/09/24 8:15 AM

I went back into my spiritual posts (see categories) and noticed that I have written a lot about faith. It's so critical to my system of beliefs that it makes sense I would write so much and so often about it.

As noted here and above, I really like what Hebrews 11:1 has to say about faith:

Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

I wish I had paid more attention to that passage earlier on in my walk. It would have helped me avoid a lot of unhealthy trials.

As I have noted before, there was a place and time in my walk where I did not believe faith was so critical to my belief system. I honestly believed I could walk this walk based on study. After all, that would enable me to talk to others and share Christ in a more persuasive manner. Or so I thought.

Only over time have I come to realize that study alone would not provide all that I needed in this walk. Only over time have I come to realize the importance of faith in my walk.

When someone argues that we can't go back and see what happened, they're right! There's no reason to argue that point, unless one does not see the importance of faith.

If someone thinks I am foolish for having such faith, then let him or her call me a fool. After all, 1 Corinthians 4:10 confirms it. And I really like 1 Corinthians 25 which says:

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.




Running Deep

Published for Saturday - February 10, 2024

Running Deep

Written Thursday - 02/08/24 11:35 AM

I had a really nice chat with my son last night on the phone. He runs incredibly deep and I always enjoy, and am blessed by, our chats.

I remember back when he and my daughter were first born. I couldn't wait until I would be able to talk to them and to see what they think about things. I still don't understand how they both align so well with the way Patty and I look at life.

Speaking of how Patty and I look at life, that's another amazing thing. That God provided me a wife who was on the same page.

Back to our kids. There are so many cases where kids rebel against the way their parents look at life and those kids take on a completely different position. God in His infinite wisdom decided to wire our kids in such a way that we were all well aligned.

What a blessing! Well beyond anything I deserve.

I'm constantly amazed at how much there still is to learn about life, even at the senior point in life that my wife and I have reached. It's quite humbling to see our kids and their spouses learning the same lessons at their younger ages.

How does that happen? I always wonder!

I love the deep phone calls with both kids. And I love what I'm starting to experience with my older (12) grandson. It's all built around worldly experiences but that's okay.

When they start asking spiritual questions and wanting to talk about spiritual things, I hope to be available. Fortunately, they both have wise and Godly parents. That will take them the distance!




The Chosen

Published for Saturday - January 13, 2024

Chosen

Written Friday - 01/12/24 11:00 AM

I've caught up on The Chosen episodes. Last night, I just finished watching the last episode of season 3. I noticed that season 4 will start off in theaters and I suspect at some point will move to The Chosen app I have installed on Patty's and my iPads.

The writing is amazing and the acting is equally superb. I can't get over the way that the writers have taken liberties at just the right points and with just the right amount of creativity. They have definitely provided the human element to a story that we too often read without that element.

According to the angel.com blog, there will be 7 seasons. Also, according to the website, seasons 5-7 will be brought to audiences 'as fast as possible without sacrificing quality.'

I would also note that the production value for each episode has been second to none. I've noticed that an amazing amount of planning and funds have gone into the set, the wardrobe, and even the things that could have been left out or left to our imagination.

From walking on the water to everything else that has been included, no expense seems to have been spared. It's such a treat to watch something that has been portrayed with so much realism. Those responsible have done an amazing job in making that happen.




Jesus Revolution

Published for Monday - January 08, 2024

Jesus Revolution

Written Sunday - 01/07/24 7:15 AM

Just finished a 2 miler on the treadmill and was reflecting upon the book I purchased on Audible back on Thursday night. I wanted to watch the movie but the book was much more affordable so I started there.

The title of the book, as can be seen on the title of this post, is Jesus Revolution. Even in the book, the drug scenes were a bit too glamorized for my taste, but then again, I'm a senior citizen and I struggle a bit to look beyond that stuff.

Truth is, I was becoming more and more educated on drugs and I have no interest in learning about that stuff, nor was it necessary for the story.

Otherwise, I thought the book was excellent. It was free on Audible and paying for it was optional, but while reading it I decided I wanted to pay for it and make a contribution to the writers for their efforts.

There were 30 chapters and quite a course in world history provided as a background for the Jesus Revolution. Chapter 24 made reference to the Shepherding Movement of which Patty and I were a part. I thought that the overall story was positive, but not the part about the Shepherding Movement. I felt it was provided with only what it needed to be a part of the story.

The trailer for the movie was very good and the movie is based on the book. I look forward, over time, to the movie becoming a bit more affordable so I can watch it.




Sunset

Published for Friday - January 05, 2024

Sunset X

Written Tuesday - 01/02/24 5:05 PM

I just carried that bill (mentioned in the previous post) to the mailbox and was quite taken with God's paintbrush and His handiwork in the sky.

As busy as times are with everything going on, it was just one of those things that brought about a pause in the day for a God moment. And what a God moment it was.




Blessings

Published for Thursday - January 04, 2024

Blessings

Written Tuesday - 01/02/24 4:50 PM

I saw an X (formerly Twitter) video today featuring a guy who was complaining about the amount of money being charged by some of the fast food places. In this case he was ranting about Mickey D's as we still call it.

Well, I received the bill for the RMC stay and tests and it was extremely reasonable. What a blessing. The hospital write-off was incredible. But I'm not complaining. I'm as grateful as can be.

Lord, thank you for these blessings. They are indeed wonderful! And let me always keep my perspective about prices in these fast-changing times.




1 Message

Published for Tuesday - December 26, 2023

1 Message

Written Monday - 12/25/23 1:30 PM

Last night I came across a movie that took me where I didn't expect to go. The name of the film was, 1 Message.

I say it took me where I didn't expect to go because it had a very big surprise ending. I almost didn't stay with it, but I'm so glad that I did.

It's a story of a woman who finds hope in one of the more difficult places that life could take her. It's a movie with bits of wisdom scattered throughout. It's an unusually long movie, (about 2.5 hours), but one that has a lot to offer for anyone willing to take the lengthy trip.

The byline or tagline says it all: A body disfigured by cancer. A treasure found inside.




Merry Christmas

Published for Monday - December 25, 2023

Christmas

Written Thursday - 12/21/23 1:30 PM

So, what is the reason for the season? The season is Christmas and the reason is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I'm so grateful that God put in me a desire after His heart. I cannot imagine living in another country with a different focus or, for that matter, a portion of this country where the focus is anywhere and everywhere except on God, and His Son Jesus Christ.

Thank you Lord, for providing your son and a way for each of us to enter the kingdom of God. For it is in, and by, His name that we find our salvation and the promised eternal life.




Get Used to Different

Published for Sunday - December 24, 2023

Different

Written Saturday - 12/23/23 4:25 PM

In episode 7 of season 1 of The Chosen Jesus calls Matthew to follow him. Later Simon says, 'This is different', to which Jesus responds, 'Get Used to Different.'

It's a powerful line in a powerful production. Equally powerful is episode 8 where Jesus meets the woman at the well. What follows will tug your heart like it's never been tugged before.

Also in episode 8 is the powerful scene where Nicodemus decides not to follow the call of Jesus in favor of his 'comfortable' life. I wept for Nicodemus as he wept in the production.




Evidence

Published for Friday - November 24, 2023

Evidence 3

Written Thursday - 11/22/23 11:35 AM

God's got this (and everything) and I'm so grateful that he does. The faith that is involved is meaningful. But the prophetic evidence for His existence is so strong!

In fact, Hank Hanegraff used to refer to the MAPS acronym for Manuscript evidence, Archeological evidence, Prophetic evidence, and finally the Statistical probability of it all.

There's a lot, in all of that, for strengthening one's faith. And mine has indeed been strengthened in it. They all work together in an amazing way, but for me the Prophetic Evidence is hard to ignore.

That prophets in various regions of the world brought forth the same message at the same time and from differet places is indeed hard to look beyond. What an amazing thing.

It doesn't take a scholar to figure that one out. The evidence is there for anyone willing to stop and take a look at it. And for this numbers guy, the statistical probability of it all is the icing on the cake.




I Will Always Be...

OCTOBER 02, 2023

Autism3

09/30/23 10:30 AM

Autistic.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I was never formally diagnosed, but as I've said before it sure would answer a lot of questions about my life to accept the diagnosis for that which has never been tested and diagnosed.

I'm going back to the Matthew character in the series, The Chosen. As I've said before, I can truly relate to him. It's how God wired me. It's in my DNA.

No matter what God shows me or allows me to see, I will always resort back to the way I'm wired. I'll say it again. It's in my DNA.

More than one can imagine, I wish my parents had understood autism. It might have helped them to better understand my thought process. The truth is that no one knew what Autism was back then. And no one knew how common it was.

To their credit, they were two of the most understanding parents a guy could ask for. They gave me the space to become the person whom God created me to be and my wife has picked up right where they left off in that respect.

For me, being a high-functioning autistic person has become my super-power. I'm (as I've said before) grateful! I'm grateful that God knew what He was doing and that he has chosen to reveal to me His intentions. It makes for a much better, and more comfortable, way of living. As comfortable as God wants me to be anyway.

Never would I have imagined how much there was and still is to learn from the soulmates that God chose for my kids. I'm far from wired like either of them and yet I can plainly see the gifts that God has provided for them and what He wants to teach me through those gifts.

Again, I'm not wired that way, but God has used their gifts to challenge me and to expand my thinking. I'm so grateful for what I have learned and continue to learn from each of them. And I'm especially grateful that Allie and Jonathan had the wisdom to make such wonderful choices.

I would be remiss if I failed to credit my own soulmate for all that I have leared from her about my super-power. I fear I would have been clueless without her knowledge and wisdom. I'm so grateful for the doors to understanding which she has opened for me. Her research skills are amazing!

God has been so good to all of us!




Grateful

OCTOBER 01, 2023

Grateful

09/30/23 7:05 AM

Grateful.

I've mentioned this before.

It's a word that best describes my thoughts toward God's involvement in my life.

In fact, a quick search for 'grateful' here on the website would indicate the word has been used in 64 posts - 65 after this one.

I honestly believe that only the design of God could have allowed both Patty and I to retire. There is no way I could have financially prepared for retirement on my own.

And it was sort of a 'just in time' process. In our last couple of moves we were able to sell our homes well above our purchase price and put the money in savings. That's especially true for the sale of the Crawfordville home, but also true of our last four home sales.

I really mean it when I say that I think God looked down upon me and realized I would need his help. So, He stepped in big-time.

There's no way I could ever be tempted to write something about the topic of 'how to retire' except to say that God intervened, even when I didn't ask Him.

I think He looked down upon me and said to himself that he had better help this pour soul if this pour should hope to retire. There's no false humility here. It's how I honestly feel and what I believe, and am convinced, He did for us.

I also provide a lot of credit to my dear wife who was so able to look ahead and see the benefit of avoiding a lump sum on her (early) retirement payout and instead opting for a monthly retirement payment. Thank you dear for your wisdom in that matter.

MORE




The Chosen

SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

Chosen

09/28/23 7:05 AM

I have become a big fan of the series being shown on Pureflix and entitled, The Chosen. If anything was ever binge-worthy, this would be it.

I must confess that I didn't really take to it up front. But after a revisit I discovered what it was about the series that was building such an amazing following.

In the last episode of the first season, and toward the end of that episode, Jonathan Roumie, who is so good in the role of Jesus, meets with the woman at the well. Oh my, what an amazing scene. It brought me to tears.

I was also moved to tears not too far before that in the same episode. It's was when everyone was gathering to leave and Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, whom I sure He knew was hiding around the corner and crying since he was not able to lay everything down and follow. When Jesus softly spoke to Nicodemus and said, 'You came so close' it was such a powerful moment.

Director, Dallas Jenkins, put me on to the amazing line that Jesus delivers to Simon in episode 7 of season 1. Simon complains about something being different and Jesus says, 'Get used to different.' Wow, what a profound line. I noticed Dallas was wearing a black t-shirt with that line inscribed in white.

I find the character of Matthew (second from the left end in the picture) particularly interesting in this series. They are playing him as if he is perhaps a high-functioning autistic individual.

I've never been formally diagnosed, but I sure can relate to all that the Matthew character does and is going through in the series - especially when he walks out, closes shop, and decides to follow the call from Jesus. And, he does so in the face of some pretty difficult and opposing counsel.




Let Go and Let God!

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023

Let Go and Let God

09/12/23 6:25 PM

Let go and let God! It has to be one of the hardest things for me to do. Especially since I'm trying to live a life where God is always in charge of things.

I'm so good at telling Him God, I've got this one - whatever 'this one' happens to be at the time. And, in the midst of everything I'm still trying to live 'in' the world without becoming 'of' it.

Being sure I am 'in' the world without becoming 'of' it and making sure that my Lord is always directing things seems a full-time job for me. I fail miserably and frequently at both.

Yesterday and last night were perfect examples. The yard crew didn't show up to cut and clean up the yard. So, I called the crew leader and received an error as if he had cancelled his contract with the cell phone company. I called the landscape company owner, but couldn't reach him either and decided to leave a message.

Now here's where it gets messy. I let the whole thing stress me out. Even though similar things like this had happened before I was sure I was either going to have to find someone else to do the yard or try and take it on myself. Neither seemed like realistic options. My imagination began to run wild, and not in a good way either. As a result, I didn't sleep very well last night.

Despite knowing it was a God-test, I didn't find myself doing very well at putting the whole thing in His hands. It was one of those God, I've got this moments and I knew it and still couldn't let it go. Ugh!

Then, today, my wife came in and reported that the yard crew was here and working in the yard. I thanked God and repented for my lack of trust. I suspect a similar test will be placed before me a few more times. God help me to trust you in all things!




Isaiah 5:20

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

Isaiah 5:20

09/06/23 11:05 AM

Isaiah 5:20 says:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

This verse in scripture seems quite pertinent to all that is going on today in the political world. It seems to speak directly to those who seem to fall in line with all of the lies.

I would never have believed we could reach a place where corruption was so prevalent and blatant. How we got here, I cannot imagine.

But, we are here and all that is left is to trust the Lord, pray, seek His face, and do all that we have been called to do.




The Solution

AUGUST 13, 2023

Solution

08/12/23 06:30 AM

In my last post, I mentioned we were praying hard for a solution. Well, the solution is always Jesus Christ and that was, once again, the tried and true answer.

As only our Lord could have planned and designed it, turns out Gabe will not need surgery. In fact, we're told there were no gallstones and that medicine will correct the gallbladder deficiency.

That allowed Allie and Gabe to catch their original flight home with no real changes to anything. We were delayed getting to the Walmart pharmacy due to real problems on I-20 and it was closed by the time we arrived, but it sounds like the Lord can also take care of that issue.

We'll miss Allie and Gabe but know they will be glad to be home and with the other guys in the family. We pray for safe travel and a joyous homecoming!

08/12/23 05:55 PM

Just got a txt message from Allie and turns out she was able to get the RX prescription filled in Hawaii so Gabe will be able to get on the medication immediately. Way to go Allie! Much Love, Dad.




Healing Hands

AUGUST 12, 2023

Healing Hands

08/10/23 06:50 PM

Once again I'm writing a day ahead of the actual publication and two days ahead of the actual publication date. This will be published tomorrow evening when we return from our doctor visits in Birmingham and Cullman and is published in prepration for general availability the following day.

Tomorrow (Friday) will be a busy day so this will be a very short post. We're still chasing down doctor visits and trying to get to the bottom of Gabe's issue.

We're praying hard for a solution. We're praying hard for God's wisdom in our doctors. We're also praying hard for Allie's peace of mind as she and Gabe stay with us and work hard to be where they need to be and to do what they need to do.

Lord, we trust in you working through our doctors and put all of this in your healing hands. Thank you, Lord!




Old Age

AUGUST 02, 2023

Old Age

08/01/23 08:05 AM

Yesterday, Patty and I had a chat about what we should be doing with our lives (from a spiritual standpoint) now that we are in our senior years. I'm not sure that one can ever feel like he or she is doing enough at any point.

But, I've been seeking out the Holy Spirit for an answer to this question and feel like I've been provided with a solid response. The things we are doing are not easy and require diligence and discipline.

And all of that is a good thing upon which to focus here in our senior years. Living for the Lord in these years, and all that comes with that, is the place where our focus should be.

Prayer (speaking to God) and meditation (listening to Him), staying physically fit, eating well, managing our weight, managing what we say and to whom we say it, being available for the kids, and keeping our focus upon God and listening intently for the whispers of His Holy Spirit are all good things.

I remember being at a church conference back when I was newly married and asking a new friend what God was saying to the folks at his church. I also remember his answer and thinking how unspiritual it was when he responded with the ideas of health and fitness.

Now, many years later, I am able to see the wisdom in that comment. Funny (and a bit tragic) how I completely missed his point back then.




Bible Reading

JULY 21, 2023

Bible Reading 3

07/20/23 07:35 AM

I finished the book of Mark and just entered Luke this morning. I'm still reading a chapter a day. I'm also still in the book of Psalms and read 127 this morning. Looks like I've got yet another month before I finish up that book.

My take-away for today was in Luke and particularly Luke 1:37 which says:

For nothing is impossible with God.

Whether it's a song or a particular verse with which I'm familiar, I always enjoy coming across these pearls in my bible reading. They always bring such encouragement.




Discernment

JULY 16, 2023

Discernment

07/15/23 07:45 AM

Discernment. It's often a spiritual thing but it doesn't have to be.

Google defines it this way:

Discernment:

1. The ability to judge well.

2. (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding.

I really like this that I also found online and comes from C.H. Spurgeon:

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.

Wow! That's profound and so true!

The big question becomes whether or not we are discerners or merely people who are fooling ourselves and destined for something less than God's best for us. Are we fooled by the 'almost right' that the world throws at us?

Perhaps the better alternative, over thinking we are good and right and on the right track, is to approach discernment with humility. If we don't then we could so easily leave God out of the entire equation.

Still, we need to have a level of confidence in our discernment without the pride it can bring and that would so easily ensnare us. Maybe it really is about humble discernment.

Lord, as difficult as it may be, let us be good and humble discerners.




Tucker Carlson Interviews Andrew Tate

JULY 14, 2023

Tucker Carlson and Andrew Tate

07/12/23 05:55 PM

I've been watching the Tucker Calrson interview of Andrew Tate on Twitter.

It really got me to thinking. A lot of what Andrew said was spot on, although I know he seems a follower of the Islamic faith and spoke of reading the Quran on what seems like a daily basis.

That's why I think that following someone outside of the faith or putting our faith in a new convert to our faith can be a very dangerous proposition.

It's okay to ask real and tough questions. But there is danger in letting the answers to those questions take us away from the roots of our belief system. We can find ourselves copying the copy and walking away from the original.

Suddenly we are out on the end of a proverbial limb with no place to go. And this is where a lot of people land just before they give up.

It's okay to ask tough questions. And, it's okay to make modifications to what we believe based on the answers we find to those tough questions.

But we should approach something very carefully when it shakes us to our roots and demands a major shift in what we believe or we can find ourselves being led away from the truth in favor of something that may resemble the truth but may actually be a lie at its core.

We should have a good idea of what we believe and why we believe it and anything that would cause that to change should have strong and widespread evidence and should be able to address more than our current belief system. Following someone because they are charismatic or seem to have it together could be a formula for hard times ahead.

What Andrew Tate is doing reminds me of what Mark Driscoll did. Both have radical styles and a strong following. In fact, so do others who will remain unnamed here.

That's because all of those people have a style that seems to be true, but may lead to something other than the ultimate truth since it does not provide answers to our fundamental questions. More than likely it only affirms what our flesh already wants to believe.

When the one true God gets our attention, we should be very careful not to let distractors get in our way. We are warned about that in scripture as seen here.

If you're interested in watching the interview, you can find it here.




Bible Reading

JUNE 30, 2023

Bible Reading 2

06/29/23 06:55 AM

I don't know about others, but for me reading the bible is an exercise in humility. I see so many great heroes of the faith who were far more worthy than I. And yet they were crying out for forgiveness, far more than I do.

I recently saw a quote that really applies here:

The path to wisdom is paved with humility.

I have received far more in my life than I could ever deserve. God has been so good to me. There is a reason, in selecting a word each year, that I always land on Grateful.

Lord, please forgive me when I act foolishly and fail to ask for forgiveness for my many sins - even the sin of thinking that I don't sin that often. As a sinner, I can't possibly know the many times that I am sinning.

Lord please don't hold me accountable for that. Thank you for your grace and your mercy in my life.

When it comes to deserving, I fall short of the mark.




More on Faith (part 2)

JUNE 22, 2023

More on Faith

06/21/23 12:15 PM

Yesterday I wrote about Faith. I wanted to add a part 2 today.

My faith has been increased by the amount of intelligent design I encounter in life and in my studies. My faith has also been increased because there is so much that is beyond all comprehension - such as the ideas of infinity and eternity. And finally, my faith has been increased because of the widespread testimony of the resurrection and especially the subsequent appearances of Jesus.

From an Intelligent Design standpoint, there is so much in the world that reflects intelligent design that I quickly run into the problem of trying to believe that all of this happened in a random approach.

The human eye, the woodpecker, and the giraffe are just a few of the things where existence and function strongly support intelligent design.

I went searching online for an argument in favor of intelligent design and found the following:

Intelligent design proponents argue that naturalistic explanations fail to explain certain phenomena and that supernatural explanations provide a simple and intuitive explanation for the origins of life and the universe.

That statement goes a long way toward explaining my perspective.

When I watch a religious film or series that portrays the post crucifixion appearances of Jesus and when I read of the strong evidence in favor of that as a factual event, I am further persuaded and even compelled toward my faith and confidence that Jesus Christ is indeed God and my Lord.




More On Faith

JUNE 21, 2023

More On Faith

06/20/23 09:05 AM

Finding Jesus in the midst of a changing culture can be a tricky proposition. Fortunately, and for the most part, I think Jesus finds us and he does so in the midst of each and every culture.

People may be looking for something real, but there is still that element of faith that is involved. We weren't around when all that happened in the bible was going on. All we have to tell us what happened is scripture.

Scripture is defined as a body of writings considered sacred or authoritative. Even the acceptance of scripture as both sacred and authoritative requires faith.

There's so much evidence of all that took place, even described in secular text, that it's not a very large step of faith for me to put my trust in the bible.

The M.A.P.S. acronym, presented by Hank Hanegraff, describes well the strength found in 'M'anuscript evidence, 'A'rcheological evidence, and 'P'rophetic evidence, not to mention the support/evidence found in 'S'tatistical probability.

Becoming a student of all of this has only increased my faith. In my role as a student I have come to understand the idea that 'not believing', in so much that has been shown to us, has grown to require more faith that 'believing.'




Father's Day

JUNE 18, 2023

FDM1

06/18/23 09:50 AM

Moving to North Alabama made a visit to or from Jonathan and Amy's house much more reasonable. As such, they invited us to join them Saturday and today (Sunday) for Father's Day.

We celebrated with a lunch out for Mexican, a visit to an incredible antique store, a day relaxing in front of the TV, and a supper filled with grilled lobster tails (and burgers) and plenty of other incredible yummies.

FDM2

Supper was a night out under the stars and by the grill. What an amazing event!

As a lead-up to supper we enjoyed one of Amy's famous meat and cheese trays and plenty of cold beer to top off the lead-up and main event.

Amy even grilled some sliced lemons for us to squeeze on the lobster tails with our melted butter. Yum!

FDM3

For the land-lovers in the crowd, Jon grilled some of his famous burgers and I must admit that he and I decided to do both! It was all so good.

Special thanks to Jonathan and Amy for the hard work and hosting us to spend the night with them. Can't wait to do it again next year, LOL!




Humility

JUNE 16, 2023

Humility

06/15/23 09:40 AM

I know when I'm wrong and I don't mind admitting it!

My wife tried to persuade me to try something out of the ordinary and I could find one thousand (what I thought were good) reasons not to take her advice.

I was frustrated that she didn't understand the complexities of my situation. Turns out she was right and I was making the situation far more complex than it needed to be.

By going in the direction she had suggested, it probably saved us over one thousand dollars. That's a pretty substantial savings and, as it turns out, I got better than I had hoped for in the situation.

I came home and let her know right up front that she was right and I was wrong. I suspect it's a good thing that I set my (clears throat) 'advanced perspective' aside and considered the simplicity of her suggestion, LOL!

Thank you, Lord, for providing me with a thrifty and patient wife. And, please forgive me for my stubborn and hard-headed approach for far too many things in this life.




You Will Be My Witnesses

JUNE 11, 2023

BACW

06/10/23 05:25 PM

In the book of Acts, it says: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

It is my belief that the leading of the Holy Spirit makes all of the difference in being an effective witness for Jesus Christ. Until and unless we receive that power from the Holy Spirit that is mentioned in the book of Acts, I fear we will miss the mark in our efforts to be an effective witness.

Being an effective witness doesn't mean that we will be part of the conversion story of each and every person who crosses our path. To be honest, it doesn't necessarily mean we will take part in anyone's conversion story.

John 4:37 describes the idea that some will sew and others will reap. All we can do is be available. Christ decides who gets used for what and only he decides when that happens.

We live in difficult times where most everyone has had some type of spiritual experience. We live in times where most, if not all, have heard the name of Jesus Christ. We live in times where so many have already experienced a person sharing Christ with them. And we live in times where far too many have been turned off to Christ due to a person who was not obedient to the Holy Spirit in sharing their witness.

The right thing at the wrong time becomes the wrong thing. Lord, help me to always hear your Holy Spirit and let my life be the witness. I pray you would bring lost souls my way with questions about a life in Christ.

As has been said before, help me in my witness and let me only use words when it's absolutely necessary.




Forgiveness

JUNE 09, 2023

Forgiveness

06/07/23 07:30 PM

Not too many weeks ago, I was wronged by a guy. It wouldn't have been so bad had I not put my trust in the guys word, only to discover later that he was not going to be good to his word.

He said all the right things leading me to believe he would be good to his word. But as time passed, I began to realize that I had been duped by this guy. Things didn't work out as he thought they would and when it was time to make good on his promise, he backed out.

I could tell he was upset. But not enough to make good on the promise of which he assured me. When it all came down to it, he took the direction that would be to his benefit.

If taking all of that wasn't difficult enough, now God was telling me that I needed to forgive the guy. Forgiveness had always come easy for me, but perhaps I was about to learn that real forgiveness comes with a price and requires a personal sacrifice.

What about those Amish parents who, back in 2006, had to forgive the guy who shot their children? What about the woman (Terri Roberts) who helped care for a girl left paralyzed by her son's bullet in that situation? And what about the girl in that story?

Turns out, God used for good what could have been a bad ending to my story. In fact, another person was involved and pointed out to me that perhaps the story had a good ending after all. I hate to admit it, but this angered me. How could he see anything good in such a deceptive act?

Well, perhaps he was seeing what he knew God would want him to see. And perhaps he was ignoring the deception. My wife is alway so good to look at things in this manner. Me, not so much.

Lord, please forgive me for my selfish pity-party and let me never fail again to forgive.




Rain and Revelation

JUNE 05, 2023

Rain and Revelatin

06/04/23 08:35 AM

I went searching for a picture to match the post title and was surprised to discover that there is a novel by the same name. The book cover didn't look like anything I wanted to use, and so I found something different.

It's never easy to write a post with two topics and even more difficult to find a picture for the post. I had to do a bit of whittling to make it work.

Only recently there was no call for rain at all. And now, it is supposed to arrive this afternoon.

Interesting how quickly the forecast changes. No rain due, and now all of a sudden we're expecting rain. Bring it, please. We need it.

On the spiritual front, I've been reading Revelation. However, I'm not sure such reading is very beneficial. My study bible always seems to point out the different interpretations from various scholars.

I'm not sure I'm in a place to benefit greatly from this book. I may go on to the Gospels and consider Revelation at another time. I'm not sensing any positive direction from such diversity of opinions and I have no interest in trying to form my own opinion from what I'm reading.

There are those who seem to enjoy this puzzle. It's not for me, at this time anyway.




Spiritual Posts

JUNE 04, 2023

Spiritual Posts

06/02/23 05:45 PM

If I'm going to post something, my preference is toward the Lord and the spiritual. I guess that's because He is always there for me.

On the other hand, there's a lot in life that may have spiritual overtones but the spiritual element may not be that obvious. Running is a good example. I run for health and I seek health because I feel that is what the Lord would have me do.

Sure, I wouldn't mind living a few extra years and running may indeed make a contribution to that desire, but for me running turns out to be a spiritual thing.

When I run outside it's so easy to talk to God. It's not quite that easy when I'm inside on the treadmill. That's especially true of our short treadmill where I have to hang on to the arm rails due to my balance issues.

But even when I complete a run, there's a spiritual component to that success. That's because it's time well spent, well invested, and God directed.

In fact I picked up weight lifting a good ways back, and while I have yet to grow to love it like my running, there's still that same spiritual component that kicks in at the end of a weight training session. It's the sense and affirmation from God that what I just did was a good thing and a wise investment of my time.

I long for the Lord and He always finds me when I am doing what He has directed.




Three Things

MAY 31, 2023

3 Things

05/30/23 01:05 PM

Well, life seems to be primarily focused upon three things. Now that doesn't include my regular activities like daily prayer and daily bible reading, but it does include those things that consume most of the rest of my day.

So, what are those three things? Well, there's the running with healing feet saga, there's the Patty's garden story, and there's the Ham Radio race to 5,000 contacts and my pursuit of the Master of Oceania award.

I still manage to get my daily activities done including the runs and workouts. The left-over time winds up being allocated between Patty's garden support and the ham radio pursuits - with the occasional Fox News story or movie slipped in for good measure and/or additional entertainment.

I thank God often for this season of retired life and all of the wonderful blessings that come with it. My father used to say that I got far better than I deserved when it comes to my wife, and while I always agreed with him I could say the same thing about life in general.

In all things, I am indeed a blessed man!




Faith

MAY 20, 2023

Faith

05/19/23 07:15 AM

I have come such a long way from where I started in Jesus Christ. I don't mean to say that I have accomplished anything, but in me Jesus Christ has accomplished much.

I'm not saying He has accomplished anything 'through' me, but He has accomplished much 'in' me. He has taken me from a place of dependence upon knowledge and perceived control, to a place of dependence upon faith.

I never thought I would find myself with such dependence upon faith for I lived so long in a mode of dependence upon worldly knowledge and the things of this world.

I even found myself confident in Christianity not for knowing Christ and him crucified, but for knowing scripture and placing it in a high place where only faith in Christ should reside. How could I think I knew anything about scripture? In all honesty, I still don't!

I must admit that the world offers a compelling narrative and it takes great strength to see the lie that lives within it. Learning to live in a world in such a way that I am 'in it' but not 'of it' will be a task that is forever in front of me. I must continue to learn how to walk in faith and not facts that are actually worldly lies.

I know what it means (and how it feels) to be content when I have much, but I never learned how to be content in those years when I had little. I would like to think I did, but that would not be the truth. When finances are bad, they become the full focus. Even when they are good, it is so easy to fall into the trap where they remain the full focus.

Lord, I am grateful for this season of much and pray for your wisdom, that I might know how to walk and live in it in such a way that you remain at the center of it all. Help my focus to be only of necessity and not of a perceived control.




Bible Reading & Running

MAY 18, 2023

Bible Reading & Running

05/16/23 08:40 PM

Patty and I read through the book of Acts together. Then we decided to part and read to ourselves. It seemed right due to the differences in the versions of the bible that we were reading and the challenges we faced with reading aloud.

I have since finished Proverbs, Romans and both 1st and 2nd Corinthians. With mostly small books remaining in the New Testament, I plan to finish up to Revelation by the end of May and then hit Revelation in June.

After that, I will go back and read the four Gospels and should be nearing the end of Psalms which I have been reading a chapter per day. I plan to continue that pace.

Afterward, I plan to move back and read the rest of the Old Testament. It's been too long since I have gone through the bible like this. I post this as an accountability measure and for no other reason.

On the running front, back on May 12th, I bumped my speed up from 6.5 to 7.0 on the treadmill. So, I was doing 3 miles at a 9:14 pace and am now doing my 3.0 miles at an 8:34 pace. I hope to move up to a 7.5 pace somewhere in the not-to-distant future, which would be an 8:00 pace. No rush on that since I want to make sure that I am ready and since that's a pretty serious pace.

When I do my 'quick-step' running pace, I wind up with about 145 steps per 1/10th of a mile. When I do my 'big-step' running pace I move that down to around 135 steps per 1/10th of a mile. There's a comfortable pace right in the middle of those two and it nets out a perfect 140 steps per 1/10th of a mile.

It's interesting to compare that to past inside and outside paces. Not sure what has changed but it is definitely different. Perhaps the answer lies with the fact that I'm still running in 2 pairs of thick running socks with no shoes.




Malachi 2:17

MAY 11, 2023

Malachi 2:17

05/10/23 07:25 AM

My wife has been reading Malachi and brought 2:17 to my attention. It reads:

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.

By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

As she pointed out, and with which I agree, it sounds very much like what I would call wokeness or wokism from the root, woke, with which all in this period of time are so familiar.

I hate to provide an idea that so many have abused. But even my 'peace-maker' wife noticed it and brought it to my attention. Isn't it interesting how the bible predicts so far ahead on various matters?




Create in Me...

MAY 08, 2023

Psalm 51

05/07/23 07:05 AM

I was in the book of Psalms today and read Psalm 51. It reminded me of years long ago.

Of all the things toward which I tend to struggle with my past in 'that church' which had so many problems, I cannot include the songs we sang.

It was an honor to play guitar and to have an ear where I could determine the chords while our leader sang the songs a capella. It was his way of teaching the songs to those of us who played the instruments.

Songs he had obviously learned by attending other services in other locations. And there were so many of those songs that we learned directly from scripture.

Today's passage in the book of Psalms was no different. As I read Psalm 51, the song came back to me immediately.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
And take not Thy holy spirit from me

Reading the scriptural basis for so many songs which are located in the book of Psalms has been happening a lot lately. I mentioned it to my wife recently. Each and every song has come back to me just like I had learned it recently.

For all of the things that cause me to struggle with 'that church', coming across these songs has been a pleasant reminder of what was good about the things I experienced.

Interesting that Patty was reading in the book of Malachi today and mentioned to me that she also found one of our old scripture songs there as well.




Blessings

APRIL 29, 2023

Blessings

04/27/23 12:45 PM

There's hardly a day that goes by where Patty and I don't mention just how blessed we are and the countless ways in which God has blessed us. What a joyful place to be in life.

I look back to Patty and Allie choosing a new word to focus upon for any given new year and I keep coming back to the same word (Grateful) and the difficulty I have in finding a better term to describe where I find myself at any given time.

In the same way, I have wondered more than once if I should change my blog and just focus on one topic to garner a more substantial readership. After all, that's how I started and running was always the topic du jour. Perhaps I should be writing about spiritual matters since they are such an important part of my life.

My problem is that life has so many wonderful flavors to offer and I want to be free to write something about any one of those at any time. It may not be very trendy to manage this blog in that fashion, but it sure does seem to suit my purpose.

In fact, if I was going for trendy, I would probably convert things over to a video feed and amass the associated equipment needed to support such a direction. But God seems to have a different plan and direction for me and I like it most of all.

So, here I am writing about whatever God places on my heart and mind. It's almost always one of several topics that really means something to me.

Speaking of things that mean something to me, I'm enjoying the subscriptions to streaming services that I have for both commercial-free movies and news. And the ability to watch them on my iPad with my wireless earbuds is an extra blessing.

I suppose that's about as trendy as it's going to get around here. With that approach, vision and sound are both crystal clear (to these eyes and ears that are only getting older) and there's no disruption to Patty and what she might want to do at any given moment if she is also inside.

A long time ago, and at a very different season in life, I remember working to develop a priority list for my life. One of the things I felt the Lord show me was that He should not be on that list, but rather the one guiding me in the development of that list.

After all, if God was on that list, He would be number one and how could there ever be any room for a number two? In the same way that a symphony orchestra is made up of different instruments and a meal is made up of different dishes, life seems to present us with choices.

And what a blessing in my senior years to be able to focus upon those choices including the things of God, time with my wife, time with family members, my health, my fitness, ham radio, movies, weather, managing this blog, and even politics.

I am so grateful! Thank you, Lord, for these wonderful blessings and for the time and provision to enjoy them all.




Psalms

APRIL 24, 2023

Psalms

04/23/23 06:55 AM

I'm reading in the book of Psalms. Today was Psalm chapter 37, a Psalm of David, as are so many in this book.

As with so many of David's Psalms, this one was full of encouragement. It spoke of righteousness, trust, desires of the heart, justice, wisdom, faithful ones, and those who will inherit the land.

So much in which to place our trust and so many promises that result. I live my life fully expecting the rain so that I am not disappointed when I get wet, but I am continuously grateful for so many blessings along the way.

His promises have been true in my life. And even though I do not always understand his plans, I will remain grateful. For my life is full of promises fulfilled despite any raindrops that have fallen upon me along the way.

And after all, he promises rain will fall on the just and the unjust and in the same way the sun will rise on both. (Mt. 5:45) Lord, thank you for the raindrops that water my wife's garden and thank you for those sunny days.




Love Never Fails

APRIL 16, 2023

Love

04/15/23 08:55 AM

Love Never Fails. It's a strong quote for which my wife is known.

Never was there a more appropriate quote for which to be known. The power in it is only surpassed by the entire passage in God's word that precedes it.

I read that passage this morning in my bible reading. It's from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love never fails is the first part of verse 8 in that same passage.

My wife is a true example of those three simple words and the entire passage. Her love is a shining example to all around her. It seems wired into her DNA but I know the truth - that it is something she adopted due to her deep wisdom. Thank you, Lord, for providing me with a wife of such wisdom.

The entire passage is worth publishing here:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

What a beautiful portion of scripture. It presents a clear picture of that which I see in my wife.




Easter

APRIL 10, 2023

Easter

04/09/23 07:05 PM

Well, our Easter celebration was amazing. We got to see or speak with everyone!

It all started with a trip over to Jonathan and Amy's. We arrived at 11 AM and left promptly to be treated out to a wonderful Mexican extravaganza.

We arrived back at Jonathan and Amy's place and were further treated to a wonderful spread of munchies (pictured above) and an equally wonderful afternoon of fellowship.

On the way home Patty called Allie and we got to speak with her, Josh, and the grandsons. Allie filled us in on the Easter music at the church and we asked Josh about the basketball competition. Apparently, the season is over and the team Josh played on won the whole thing. Wow! That's cool!

The grandsons filled us in on all that is going on with them. It included a beautiful story about how Noah fixed some cell phones for the neighbors and how Gabe is waiting on a friend to get online so they can play video games.

They even gave Patty a virtual ride on their new zip line. I had to focus on the driving but really enjoyed the videos they sent over yesterday of the kids and the zip line. We finished our ride and just walked into the house a few minutes ago.

What an amazing way to celebrate Easter. We are so blessed.




Correction

APRIL 04, 2023

Correction

04/03/23 11:35 AM

You know, the scritures have a lot to say about correction and the importance of it in our lives. That's especially true of the book of Proverbs.

And I've always seen myself as a person open to correction and open to both its importance and value in my life. Lite and lively lessons are always an easy pill to swallow. But that wasn't so true of today's lessons.

They were very big pills and very difficult to swallow, even though I know it was the Lord who was the instigator. I've seen correction taking place in The Chosen which I have been watching with great interest, but it's always so easy to hear it when it applies to someone else and so difficult to hear it when it's aimed at me.

Proverbs 12:1 says it quite clearly:

Anyone who loves correction love knowledge.
Anyone who hates to be corrected is stupid.



The Chosen

APRIL 02, 2023

The Chosen

04/01/23 08:15 AM

Everyone I know, and especially my daughter and son-in-law, like The Chosen. Unfortunately, I don't think I gave it a fair chance.

I'm not sure what it was that sort of turned me off to any interest in it. The people I had spoken to about it really loved it!

Well, I happened across the woman at the well scene on YouTube and I was hooked. I went and found the series on my Pureflix account and watched the first four episodes of Season 1 and I was suddenly all in.

In fact, I went searching to discover that Season 1 included 8 episodes and that late in the last episode was the woman at the well scene. I cheated and jumped to that portion of that episode just to watch it again. All I can say is, wow! Such a beautifully executed scene with both the writing and the acting.

I look forward to binge-watching the rest of Season 1 and then moving on to Season 2 and beyond as it becomes available. As my daughter indicated, it just gets better and better.




Bible Reading

MARCH 31, 2023

Bible Reading

03/30/23 06:50 AM

As I mentioned before, I'm currently reading Romans, Psalms, and Proverbs, a chapter a day. After careful evaluation, I do indeed believe in God's word and I do indeed believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I took the long way around to get there, but it was a good exercise.

I must take care here in not throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water, just because others have impacted my life by their misappropriation of what they found in scripture.

I believe that scripture paints a clear picture when it comes to our obedience to God's chosen authority. To rebel against that authority is to rebel against God. I find that point made in Proverbs and I am fully onboard with it.

There needs to be discretion exercised when it comes to anything that resembles an anti-authority approach. While we are not called to be rebellious, we are also not called to act out in error because authority has pointed us in that direction.

That's a difficult dilemma to navigate and one that calls for great wisdom and much discretion. Too much focus on what I/we don't believe is dangerous for it can lead to a lack of focus on what I/we do believe.

I am seeking to ensure that I do not fall into that trap. And, if I do fall into it, that I don't spend much time entangled there.

I have been so blessed in this life by our Lord, and my life is full of the comforts he has provided. Alongside these comforts are the commands he has set before me to carry out a focused plan of care for life and living.

Included in this list are plans for exercise and diet and so many of the other topics found in this blog. In fact, I see this blog as a means of staying focused on what he has set before me.

I could say this next thing is wired in my DNA, and maybe my passion for it is, but somewhere along the way I learned that the only way to keep track of progress, and to get things done, is to measure. As such, I tend to do a lot of that kind of thing and measuring and tracking come pretty easy for me.

Lord help me to respond appropriately when the way I'm wired conflicts with your plan for my life. Help me to be a student of life and living and help me to be one who is willing and able to adopt any changes you desire for me to make in my life.




What Is God Doing?

MARCH 24, 2023

What God Is Doing

03/23/23 10:35 AM

Patty and I made a run up to Todd's Ohatchee Hardware Store. I had a couple of things I wanted to return and she needed some seeds.

Todd waved Patty off on planting anything and chimed in with his support of the idea that we don't need to do anything until after Good Friday. In fact, he said that he thought we had one more freeze before winter releases its grip on things, even if spring is already here in the formal sense.

That comment came as a big surprise to both of us, and I saw how well my wife handled the challenge to slow things down and delay planting. I could tell it went against everything in her and that she was wanting to do.

God sure is doing a lot these days to slow us both down. I had to confess to her what God was also having to do in me to release me from worry.

That was a tough thing to confess. But I had to share that now when Patty calls me from another place in the house, my first reaction tends to be a question about what's wrong now? and that's definitely not healthy.

I wasn't that way in the past, but I think I'm fearful that, with some of the issues I face as I'm growing older, something will come up that I can't handle. And boy is that a tough one to deal with for a guy who is used to being able to step in and correct any and all problems.

I'm really getting a big dose of that idea that things don't have to be perfect. There are some things that I need to realize I can live with. That's another tough one for this perfectionist type guy.

Lord, help us as we grow older to keep our focus where it needs to be. And help us to find an adequate amount of patience for the hurry up and wait game that so often comes our way. And Lord, help me with that worry game with which I tend to struggle.




Discretion

MARCH 23, 2023

Disretion

03/22/23 08:10 AM

As I think I have mentioned before, I'm reading a chapter a day in Romans, Psalms, and Proverbs. To make it easy, I'm reading the same chapter number in each book on any given day.

One of the things I noticed was that in the first five chapters of the book of Proverbs, the word discretion appears in four of those five books. It's a word with which I am familiar, but I doubt I would get a passing grade for the attention I have paid to that topic in my life.

That's the downside of being a black and white type of guy. Unlike some people, for me discretion has been a learned trait and it often took a back seat to the rule-based lifestyle that seemed wired in my DNA. I can't say it was a matter of ignoring it as much as it was a matter of not being aware of its importance in my life.

I went to see what the dictionary had to say about discretion and became captivated by its apparent importance - especially as it related to the topics in the first several chapters of the book of Proverbs. Here's the definition as taken from the Oxford Languages dictionary to which I was pointed by Google:

1. The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information. 'She knew she could rely on his discretion.'

2. The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. 'It is up to local authorities to use their discretion in setting the charges.'

I must admit that reading those definitions caused me to stop and take inventory of the importance of the use of discretion in all that I do. It's a concept that has received far too little attention from me and it seems critical that I make a change in my life and adopt its importance.

I believe the Lord has already been taking me down this road and preparing for this change, but now it has a label or a title upon which I can focus. For that, I am grateful!

Thank you, Lord for helping me to be a student of life and living. May I always make that my focus.




Josh

MARCH 12, 2023

Josh

03/10/23 07:05 PM

Josh was and still is a great addition to our family. I'm not good with the memorizing or details, but I think he and Allie met at a church down in the city of Savannah, Georgia. If memory serves me well (and it often does not) they were both at a church book table looking at the books when they met.

Speaking of my poor memory, I'm not much good with dates either. But I think Josh and Allie got married in 2008. I know it was May 10th only because that also happens to be Josh's birthday and I have that recorded on my cell phone calendar. Since May 10 falls on a Saturday in 2008, there's a good chance that I got that right. There's also a good chance I've botched this entire thing completely.

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Josh in the Atlanta airport. He was passing through and came to ask for Allie's hand in marriage. What an honor that was and what a great job Allie did with finding a good man for her Mr. Right. I could tell quickly that Josh was going to be a great husband and a wonderful addition to our family, just as I mentioned earlier.

Josh runs deep and seems to have a close walk with the Lord. I'm so grateful for the wonderful example he has been to all of us. I'm particularly thankful to the Lord for providing someone so wise and special for Allie. He has proven himself an amazing husband, father, and did I mention an incredible son-in-law?

Josh is truly a man of adventure. And Allie and the boys seem to have enjoyed each and every moment of their incredible adventure with him. From the USA to Germany and on to the Marshall Islands.

Amazing! And the adventure seems to be far from over.

One day when we go to be with our Lord, I'm confident that Patty and I will rest easy knowing that Josh will be there to take care of Allie and to provide strong, wonderful, and amazing support for those awesome grandsons.

What a blessing he is to all of us!




Strengths and Weaknesses

MARCH 11, 2023

Strengths and Weaknesses

03/01/23 08:10 AM

I had planned to offer another blog post about one of the family members, but I had something on my heart that I wanted to share. And so, I will delay my previously shared plan for blog posts and offer this up.

One of the things for which I am grateful is that my parents did not have me labeled with trendy labels that try to explain why I am the way I am. They simply provided me time to discover that for myself.

One of the benefits of that approach was that I was able to discover for myself the strengths and weaknesses associated with whatever ailments I had. I wasn't part of a trend but was in a position to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. And that's exactly what I did.

I mention that because I pray it daily for my grandsons and have recently added it to my prayer list for everyone. Got help us all to discover our strengths and weaknesses, no matter to what ailments they are related, and help us to maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in our lives.

What a wonderful prayer and what a wonderful approach. It allows us to quietly turn our focus toward God and listen to his voice as he points out the things to which we need to give our attention. And it allows us to privately address matters and openly give God the glory for opening our eyes and helping us to see who we are and how God has wired us.

Lord, help each of us to discover our strengths and weaknesses and to maximize those strengths and minimize those weaknesses. Help us to bloom where we have been planted and to walk the walk for the journey that has been set before us.




Jonathan

MARCH 10, 2023

Jonathan Fishing

03/09/23 07:00 AM

What a joy and a blessing our son Jonathan has been in my life. He's been such an example to me of what I should have been to my parents. I don't believe a father could ask for more from a son.

As with Allie, it has been such a wonderful experience to watch him grow. His journey from childhood to manhood has truly been something to see. I can't imagine a father being more proud of all that a son has become or has accomplished including all of his marching band successes - especially winning the state title for the best 5A marching band in Alabama.

We took a few father and son fishing trips together and the memories that came from those outings will be with me forever. The long rides together and our interesting conversations were truly a joy to me.

And that goes for the quick trip up to Ohio for one of his indoor drumline competitions. That started a series of events that would ultimately lead to his move to Jacksonville State University. At the time, I couldn't even imagine that Patty and I would wind up living only a short distance from that school one day in our future.

The picture above is of one of our fishing jaunts across the street from where Patty and I lived at the time. We borrowed two of my neighbor's kayaks and went out in the marsh chasing the trout. I think Jonathan set the record that day with the one pictured above.

When he was very young, I could not have imagined that Jonathan would pass me and leave me in his dust as both a tennis player and a percussionist, not to mention other things that don't come to mind right now. He has become a student of life and living as can be seen in his hobbies and in his home and yard.

Whether it's a saltwater aquarium or the landscaping tools he has amassed, he shows a real zeal for understanding the nuances of all that he goes after.

I could not be more thankful for all that he has accomplished and all that I have learned from him. I'm grateful for all that God has done in him and in me through him.




Allie

MARCH 09, 2023

Allie 1a

03/08/23 10:55 AM

I couldn't be more proud of who Allie is, who she has become, and all that she has accomplished. I'm blown away at how well she has adopted and adapted to the new culture that she and Josh have developed.

To be honest, I'm also blown away at how much I have learned from her and the choices she has made. If you have a child who you think will marry but hasn't yet, prepare to have your horizons expanded and your eyes opened to new and refreshing ideas. Allie has been an amazing student of marriage.

Growing up, there was something very special about Allie. She was supportive in a way that's difficult to describe. She was loving beyond description. And she was a very determined young lady.

I can see that determination in so many things she has done and is doing including her rise to drum major in her high school and college bands, her current work on an MBA, and her plans to pursue a doctorate afterward.

Allie is also a doer and accomplishes anything to which she sets her mind including being a member of a professional Christian singing group and a member of the Dallas Symphony Chorus.

It is such a joy to see her when she sets out on a new adventure and takes on things (like moving to the Marshall Islands with kids in tow) that would scare this guy out of his mind.

Allie has had a real impact upon my life and the directions I have chosen for myself. I like the results that have come from that experience and I look forward to whatever God has in store to teach me through Allie's actions. I am indeed a proud dad of my beautiful, wonderful, and amazing daughter.




My Wife

MARCH 08, 2023

God and My Wife

03/07/23 04:20 PM

I'm amazed at some of the things God shows me. I'm even more amazed at the way he shows me so many things. How, you ask?

Patty has dropped little pearls of wisdom and I've let so many of them pass me by until I started realizing just how power-packed with wisdom so many of those tiny pearls really are. Tiny tidbits of wisdom delivered directly to me from God.

I used to think that her challenges were mostly things I would place in the Lady Stuff category. Boy, was I ever wrong!

And more interesting yet, the wisdom packed in those pearls more often escaped me because I just wasn't paying attention at the time. But some how or another, God helped me rewind her words at a later point and suddenly I was able to see the things upon which I've been missing out.

Yesterday's post was a good example. Being a perfectionist means I'm going to miss out on things until I get them to be perfect like I think they need to be.

Remember how I mentioned that I was going to have to wait until I hired a roof climber to get some much-needed antenna work done (so I could enjoy my radio?) Well, as I was doing what I could from the ground today the Lord brought Patty's words to mind. Things don't have to be perfect, she had told me.

When I pondered those words, I realized I could offer a repair on an item and delay any real need to hire a climber. I made the repair, it did what I needed it to do, and I was on the air using my good antenna.

As a result, I made 45 digital contacts, mostly in other countries, and including two new countries which I had never worked before. That's what I would call a really good ham radio day.

And all thanks to my wife's wisdom!




Reading the Bible Together

FEBRUARY 19, 2023

Reading the Bible Together

02/17/23 05:05 PM

Patty and I are going to start reading the bible together each morning. We did it a long time ago and it just seems right and fresh to do it again.

I watched a movie recently and most all of it was taken from a specific section in the New Testament book of Acts. When Patty kindly asked if I had a particular book I wanted to start with, I suggested Acts since I had felt led to read it anyway in response to that movie.

We plan to read aloud and to share the reading responsibilities. We also plan to read a bit each day and share our thoughts with one another based on what we've read.

Patty runs deep and always has good take-aways from what she reads. It will be a pleasure to hear her thoughts and to tap into her wisdom.

Written by Dr. Luke, Acts is such a rich and pivotal book. I'm really looking forward to getting back into it.




Water

FEBRUARY 13, 2023

Well

02/07/23 12:45 PM

I made a radio contact with 7Q7EMH who was located at the Embangweni Mission Hospital in the African country of Malawi. It was through this contact that Patty and I were introduced to the Marion Medical Mission and their outreach program to build wells providing life-saving fresh water to communities all across Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and beyond.

It was a real honor to donate the well in memory of Patty's mom (Martha) and in honor of Junior, who facilitated the radio contact with 7Q7EMH for me.

We are so excited to be a part of this outreach and will be praying for more success to follow.

Well Pics

Well Info



Peace of Mind

FEBRUARY 12, 2023

Peace of Mind

02/07/23 08:00 AM

I like the peace of mind that comes with having several posts written ahead of time and ready (on time) for publication. However, I don't like the idea that posts are not published on or close to the date they were written.

A big gap between the date a post is written and the date it is published is confusing even to me, so I'm confident it must be confusing to any readers out there. That's especially true when a new post comes across like old news.

Still, I'm not ready to put the blog at risk where nothing is published on any given day. Perhaps I've let my intention to publish something each and every day get in the way of a meaningful blog where posts are published on the date they are written.

I like having a post on each day and suspect I am going to have to be comfortable with the idea that a reader can always see the date a post was written, even if it was a few days off from the publication date.

After all, I think the quality of each post is higher when written without the added pressure of a tight deadline. That's one thing I would really like to avoid here in the blogosphere.

Addendum:

02/12/23 11:15 AM

It's Sunday (a non-weight training day) and I just got in another three miler and did it at the faster pace (8:34 and a treadmill setting of 7.0).

As such, I'm confident that I'll at least do the faster pace on non-weight training days. As for the weight training days, I'll have to wait and see how I'm feeling.

I sure hope a solution is forthcoming to my wonkyness. I would truly love to get in the 5K race world and make a senior level entrance at 100%. Like I've said so many times before, we'll see.




Paul: Apostle of Christ

FEBRUARY 11, 2023

Paul

02/10/23 10:10 AM

Once again, I came across a good movie on Pureflix. It looked like a low budget production on the surface and the only reason I gave it a serious look was because the cast included Jim Caviezel.

Turns out it was a great film! Caviezel played Luke and Paul was played by James Faulkner, with whom I am not familiar but who did a great job and played a very convincing Paul.

The film was released in 2018 and covers the last days of Paul up to and including his execution. I was quite impressed with the quality of the film including the acting and production values, not to mention the storyline.

Addendum:

02/10/23 11:35 AM

Have you ever said or written something only to wind up saying to yourself that you shouldn't have 'nailed that down'? Well, that's what I did yesterday limiting myself to two mile training runs.

I ran 3 today for two reasons. First of all, and I hate to admit it, I wanted to get my running log back on an even number. It's true LOL! And, second, I wanted to see how I feel for the rest of the day after a slower 3 miler. I'm not going to nail something down here and limit myself (yet!) but I'm leaning toward doing slower 3 milers each day.

Today's pace was 9:14 for each of 3 miles (6.5 treadmill setting) and it felt pretty good. Honestly, not real good like I hoped for but not bad either so we'll see what the outcome looks like at the end of the day and whether or not I want to stay with daily 3 milers or go back to 2 per day.

I mentioned that I lean toward 3's but only because it better positions me to take up 5K's if my neurologist is able to make a determination about my wonky state. Like I've said before, we'll see!




Upside

FEBRUARY 09, 2023

Upside

02/06/23 06:05 PM

I'm really getting my money's worth from this new 9th generation iPad. I spent some time today watching Fox News and some additional time watching a movie or two.

The movie I watched late this afternoon was called, Upside. It was another Pureflix movie and truly touched me. The story involved a Lacross player who experienced a serious injury during a game and how that experience, and the things it led to, changed his life.

I really like the type of story where an individual experiences hardship and overcomes it with God's help. And that's a reasonable summary for how the story went. Of course, there was a lot more to it than that but the writer weaved a wonderful tale and took me down a thought-provoking road with it.

I suppose in addition to my new iPad, I'm also really enjoying my money's worth from our wonderful Pureflix subscription. I've been very fortunate to find quite a number of excellent and life changing stories with great acting and awesome production values.




Sacred Vow

FEBRUARY 06, 2023

Sacred Vow

02/04/23 11:55 AM

I watched another Pureflix movie last night bearing the title, Sacred Vow. The movie brought with it some Pureflix warnings but the write-up sounded interesting and so I gave it a shot.

There were a few instances where I almost turned it off, but for some unknown reason I stayed with it. I'm glad I did! The story had a nice twist at the end that I had not anticipated, although looking back it fit in very well with all that was going on.

The thing I like about the story is that God used it as a reminder of my deep and abiding love for my sweet wife. With that reminder I went searching for a piece of paper that Patty had prepared at my request with 10 things that she likes.

After the movie was over, I went to Patty with paper in hand and suggested we follow-up on some of those ten items. In other words, I wanted to do for her what she always does for me and ensure we set out to do the things that are important to her and that she likes.

It's something that I think God served up in a very clear manner and a message that I should not ignore. Thank you, Lord for bringing this clear message and reminder to me, of Patty's importance in my life, by way of Sacred Vow.




The Mystery of Her

FEBRUARY 05, 2023

The Mystery of Her

02/03/23 07:50 AM

I watched a Pureflix movie last night that had a very intriguing story line and that was in fact based on a true story. I wish all stories went this deep and were this good.

Of course, while I thought the production values and acting were strong, it was far from a mainstream type story. It took me down an artsy road, but it was one that I was very willing and even interested to travel.

I truly related to the story and the characters although it was a far cry from anything I ever experienced in my own life. I liked the honesty that they had to deal with in their lives and I liked the idea that they had to accept and adapt to whatever consequences came along with being honest about their lives.

I don't usually care for a story that sort of hides things from me up front, but I was okay with that approach in this instance. It made the story that much more interesting and added to the mystique in the way that the story unfolded.

I'm not sure I could recommend the film to anyone and everyone due to the artsy approach that it took, but if you find that kind of thing as interesting as I do, I think you'll really enjoy the movie.




Happy Birthday to my Patty

JANUARY 30, 2023

Happy Birthday Patty

01/26/23 02:45 PM - #614

Happy Birthday to my Patty, my Soulmate, and the Beautiful and Wonderful Love of my Life!




Quotes

JANUARY 21, 2023

Quotes

01/18/23 03:15 PM - #605

I enjoy good quotes and I particularly got a blessing from one that was a line in a movie Patty and I were watching recently. It basically said:

God doesn't put us in situations to change the other guy.

I could argue the point because God does use us in the lives of others. But, I think the point behind the quote was that most often God places us in situations because He wants to change us, and not someone else.

It was one of those Wow! moments for both Patty and I. We both made a groaning grunt kind of sound when the line was offered. I wouldn't even know how to spell that word or sound or whatever it was but, whatever it was, we both did it.

Smiley 2








Cultural Distractions

JANUARY 20, 2023

Cultural Distractions

01/18/23 08:00 AM - #604

Have you noticed lately with whatever you are doing in your life, that there's someone out there who is doing it on social media and doing it better than you?

If we're not careful, it can put us in a competitive state where we wind up trying to accomplish something for all of the wrong reasons. And when the wrong reasons are our motivation for anything, we're destined to fail at it.

It's like when you see someone who is very good at what they do and think to yourself that you could do that too. When you discover what's really involved and that you can't, frustration sets in and a sense of failure is sure to follow.

This idea of Do what you love is new to me and not part of the culture in which I was raised. My experience was more to the point of doing what provides well, and always keeping the end target in mind. That felt good and right to me since I had a wife and two kids and believed in that which was traditional to my faith.

It seems to me, in this season which we now live, that faith has taken a back seat to other things. Those of us who live by that faith must be able to keep our focus and avoid the cultural distractions that want to take us in other directions.

Lord, let me never fall victim to cultural influences that would cause me to take my eyes off of you.




I'm Not Him

WEDNESDAY - JANUARY 18, 2023

I'm Not Him

01/17/23 08:05 AM - #602

I've been watching a lot of movies on Pureflix and last night I watched another good one. The name of the film was I'm Not Him.

The write-up says it's a story about a man on a quest to see if he was saved by a miracle. I'm not sure if that description truly captures the story but who am I to say. I would say it's a story about a man who quits his job in order to use the gift God had given him to pray for folks and see their lives changed. Perhaps that doesn't sound as riveting.

One has to dispense with their theology in order to ride along with the writer, but I like the twist that occurs in the court room near the end of the story. All in all, it's a story that caught my attention and kept me captivated. And the acting and production values were strong enough to provide me with an enjoyable experience.




Seasons of Gray

JANUARY 11, 2023


Seasons of Gray

01/10/23 10:55 AM

Before I dive into the topic du jour, I wanted to mention another thing following up on yesterday's post about the website. No more updates to the menu also means that I'm no longer limited to the length of the post title. Previously, I had to keep it to a manageable length that would fit in the menu. I'm pleased that limit is now gone.

I watched a great movie last night entitled, Seasons of Gray. I quickly recognized the similarities to the biblical account of Joseph, but was pleasantly surprised to discover at the end of the film that it was indeed intended to be a modern day retelling of the story of Joseph.

I've watched several Christian movies lately from the PureFlix library and have been pleasantly surprised at how much better each one gets. I'm used to having to show a lot of grace for Christian films, but that's quickly becoming a concept that no longer applies when one considers the budgets, production quality and quality of the acting in today's Christian themed films.

I'm particularly growing to be a big fan of those films that don't sugar coat the story, but are very honest about the challenges we face in the Christian community. Like the bible says in Matthew 5:45, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. In other words, God provides no special promises in His word that our lives will be free from pain. He only promises that He will be with us in those moments and that He will never allow us to face more than we can handle. (Psalms 9:9,10 and 1 Corinthians 10:13.)




Jesus Christ

JANUARY 07, 2023


Jesus Christ

01/06/23 10:15 PM

I am so grateful to God for His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I'm grateful that He rose on the third day, is alive, loves me, cares for me, guides me day by day, and is waiting to see me join Him in heaven one day.

For my walk on this earth, I'm so grateful that He provided inspirational movies to strengthen me, inspire me, and teach me things I needed in my life.

I just finished watching such a movie, the night before this post will be published on the internet. The movie was, Running the Bases.

Thank you Lord for those who wrote, directed, filmed, edited, and acted in this movie. Lord, I thank you for the entire cast and crew who made it possible for me to watch, be inspired by, and see life-changing ministry take place in my heart, my mind, and my soul. And Lord, I thank you for the impact that all of this will have on the day-to-day life that is still ahead of me.

Thank you Lord, that you cared enough to point me to this story and for the many other movies that you have set out before me in recent weeks. And thank you for what they are and all that they have brought into my life. Let me not miss your message or fail to respond as you would have me respond.




Spiritual Stuff

JANUARY 03, 2023


Spiritual Stuff

01/03/23 08:55 AM

Patty received a call from a family member who mentioned some spiritual stuff. As a result, we both talked about it. And, once again, we both came to realize (from our discussion) the importance of faith in our walk with the Lord.

What I continue to learn is that what's important is the basis for my faith. Those who have no basis are quick to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. Or, as was the case with her phone call, some have drawn very different conclusions based on their experiences.

But, all we have is our faith and the basis for that faith. The basis that Patty and I share is built upon strong evidence in favor of Jesus Christ and a lack of strong evidence in any other direction.

Sure there are days where my experiences cause me to question my faith and the basis for my faith, but a quick revisit always realigns me with a solid basis and no other direction in which to turn. I'm good with that and I'm quickly becoming okay with those who see it differently.

I'm not okay that they might think they have their truth and that I have my truth for I believe there is only one way and one truth, but I am okay when someone does their homework and draws a different conclusion.

I have to be okay with that or I would go crazy with debate after debate over something that is so faith-basis-dependent. That has been a major discovery for me in my walk with Jesus Christ. Fortunately, the basis for my faith rests upon what I consider the strongest possible evidence and I have indeed done what I consider the best job possible on my homework in that direction.

Grateful has been a key-word for me in my walk with Jesus Christ and I do indeed remain grateful for all of the signs he has placed on my path that serve to strengthen the basis for my faith. Only through a lengthy journey have I become able to see what He is hoping to show me. Thank you, Lord.




Change

DECEMBER 02, 2022


Change

12/01/22 05:20 PM

Change!

I'm not talking about the kind that jingles in my pockets or that my fellow coin collectors and I go about collecting. I'm talking about a situation where something becomes different.

Change. Life is all about it. That's what I keep learning.

When we lived in Florida we were quite familiar with the old saying about the weather. Give it a moment and it will change. The same goes for life. Give it a moment and it will change.

I've always been a guy who prefers predictable. I've always been the conservative type who wants things to be static. But I have learned that there is no such thing as a predictable or static life. And if I try to live it that way, it is bound to present me with one disappointment after another.

So, I'm learning that success is not measured in one's ability to remain static. It's measured in terms of one's ability to adapt to change.

For me, one of the best ways to effectively manage change is to effectively manage my expectations. It's common for folks to have dreams, hopes, and goals. But they will bring about disastrous consequences if they don't provide room for change.

Managing expectations is a great way to build room for change into a plan. And how we respond to change, when it comes our way, is a great indicator of how well we have managed those expectations.

One other point worth considering is our equation for life. Injecting too many variables into it is a sure way of creating a change factory that is going to be impossible to manage. Oh, and be sure to allow for life itself to inject a few variables of its own into your equation for life, because it surely will.




When God Shows Up

NOVEMBER 23, 2022


When God Shows Up

11/22/22 09:25 PM

This is what happens when God shows up!

For me, it was the take-away from the movie, Woodlawn. That line was delivered more than once in the movie, and each time it brought something special to the story. The Holy Spirit was featured and I'm confident the Holy Spirit was felt and experienced by audiences across the nation and perhaps the world.

The story occurred in the early to mid-seventies and the Holy Spirit was moving in an amazing way back then. I had neither seen it nor experienced it so vividly up until that time. But with the powerful move of the Holy Spirit in that season, my life was changed forever in an instant. After God called me and called out my name, I would never again be the same.

Innocent, naive, vulnerable, childlike, call it whatever you want to. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God showed up and He changed my life. And for what He has done and continues to do in my life, I remain truly grateful.

God's got this.

Let Him have it.




Sunday

NOVEMBER 14, 2022


Sunday

11/13/22 10:10 AM

As I write it's Sunday but this will publish on Monday and may seem a bit mistimed. That's okay, though. It still applies to the life I'm living no matter when it's written or published.

I don't attend church. Admittedly that's a struggle for me. But so is attending something that seems so disingenuous to the things I read about the church in the New Testament.

I can really relate to the story of Lot and his wife and daughters in the book of Genesis. However, I don't want to use that and similar stories to justify my actions. I will have to face God one day and give an account for my actions. And, that is always my litmus test for those actions.

Can I do XYZ and still face God about it? If I can and believe it's good, I do it. If I can't, I don't. That's where I'm at with Church.

We have gone to so many churches over so many years and I really relate to the old saying that it's the people that make churches so messy. And, that makes it so easy to see why the institutional church has evolved to the place that it has evolved in today's environment. It's trying to work around all of the problems which people often unwittingly bring to it.

But, in working around those problems I fear it has become what it was never intended to be. And I fear that's why people like me are leaving it in droves. However, we're not leaving God. It's the litmus test thing I was talking about earlier.

Yesterday (Saturday) I received a copy of a church's Sunday program/bulletin. On the back page, it listed all of the prayer needs. I was astounded and burdened by the number of people with serious ailments and immediately started lifting them up to the Lord in my heart.

For a moment I wanted to visit that church just for that particular need, but a moment later I realized the struggle it would create plugging in and then unplugging from activities with so much unproductive busywork.

My struggle with church is not something I'm proud of, nor do I take comfort in it, nor am I excited about standing before God with it somewhere down the road. But, here I stand; (and I believe) I can do no other.

God help me.




My Soulmate

OCTOBER 05, 2022


Soulmate

10/05/22 08:20 AM

I wasn't sure what the real definition of soulmate might be and whether it is one word or two. It's interesting how I go to Google to grab an online dictionary and often find that I'm far from alone in my word struggle.

I'm usually well aligned with Merriam-Webster but on this one I find that the Collins online dictionary better suits my way of thinking. Let's go to Merriam-Webster first:

1: A person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament.
2: A person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs.

I like it, but I feel much better aligned what Collins has to say:

A soulmate is someone with whom you share a close friendship and deep personal understanding.

I just did a blog search on the word soulmate and read all of the posts where I mentioned it. Some of them were about special days like Holidays and others were where I just spoke of it in passing.

Either way, I'm so grateful for my soulmate and the times we so often sit down and share things at such a deep level. I've always believed that our spouse should also be our best friend, but only as time has passed have I begun to see that in such a way, and at such a level, that I truly understand what it means.




One Year Older

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022


68

09/14/22 09:30 AM

Today I turn 68. Grateful & Blessed are two important words that come to mind.

It's funny how perspectives on age change as we get older. I still remember when I thought that a person in their 30's was old. Looking back, I can only chuckle at that.

When I look at the pictures of the old ham radio operators I've contacted, I now realize that there are young people trapped inside those old bodies. I see it that way because I know that as my body ages my mind still feels young.

Well, sort of...

Um, has anyone seen my keys, phone, and wallet?

What's really nice is that I have no regrets. I don't wish to be young again for life back then had its own set of problems that I would not care to revisit. And life today comes with blessings I could have only imagined back when I was younger.

Without a doubt, the greatest blessing in my life is (and has been) my soulmate, my Patty! She truly makes life worth living and brings joy, vitality, and youthfulness to every day!

Thank you, Patty!

And thank you, Lord!




Dad

AUGUST 31, 2022


Dad

08/30/22 12:35 PM

I posted this picture of dad and blogged about it back in January of this year. That's a very young Noah Snow (his great grandson) sitting with him.

If my math is right, today would have been dad's 93rd birthday. We lost him about nine years ago at age 84.

Dad was fit as a fiddle up until he wasn't. I don't think I had any idea back then what he must have been going through as his decline came so suddenly and dramatically.

Dad was pretty much a go it alone kind of guy, both in life and at life's end. Only as I get older do I begin to understand what he must have been going through.

He often said, getting old is not for sissies and those words have rung more and more true with me as I enter my senior years. As I get older, remaining grateful for God's blessings always trumps complaining about the challenges. The former He served to bless me and the latter He allowed both to strengthen me and to provide me with a great appreciation for the former.

Footnote

More Tennis Stuff

More Tennis Stuff

08/31/22 08:50 AM

Well, day two is finished at the US Open and with it all 64 men's single matches in round one are done or are close to it. Today we begin with the first half of round two and will see 16 of the 32 men's singles matches slated for this round.

It will be the same with the women's rounds. We're down to the first half of round two for them as well, not to mention men's, women's, and mixed doubles.

Serena plays the number 2 seed tonight, so I'm guessing that will be her exit from the event and the end of all the hoopla surrounding her finale. We'll see...

Serena Williams

08/31/22 08:45 PM

I've got to give credit where credit is due. That was a different Serena Williams who defeated the #2 player in the world. Serena's been playing poorly lately which led many of us to believe she wouldn't even make it out of the first round. But, to her credit she won her second round and continues onward. Good for her!




God is Good...

AUGUST 23, 2022


God is Good

08/22/22 06:15 PM

I'm delighted to report that the healing I mentioned yesterday continues and the first day back for weights and running was a great success. It felt good to get back in the swing of things.

We dropped by our eye doctor so Patty could order some contacts and I could get adjustments to the frames for my glasses. The men on my dad's side of the family all have a wonky ear which makes one ear a tad lower than the other.

As a result, glasses never sit quite right when I put them on. But, after a bit of tweaking, the doctor's assistant had things working for me.

How level my glasses sit on my face has never been that important in the past, but with a small amount of prism added to reduce the tendency toward double vision, it seems much more important now. The prism that has been added also further reduces my ability to look at anything unless my head is upright. It's nearly impossible to describe the effect that it has on my vision, but it's not pretty!

Still, I'm so grateful to have found a good eye doctor and eyecare center, and even more grateful for the provision that affords us the opportunity to utilize their services. I'm the first to admit that the contemporary quote I hear these days seems a bit corny and over-used, but it's still true:

God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!

Foot Note

08/23/22 01:45 PM

Yard Guys

We have a great group of yard guys and they do a superb job! Monday used to be their day but they come on Tuesdays now since they have a new and large project on Mondays.

They came today and did their normal job plus they hauled off some stuff I wanted carried away. I was glad to pay a small price for that since we no longer have a service that does those kinds of pickups, like they did in Spanish Fort.

On the other hand, our second solar light has also gone missing. We replaced the first one after it went missing, but I'm not going to replace another one. I guess that address sign it was shining upon will have to be a daytime only sign.




The View

AUGUST 14, 2022


The View

08/14/22 07:50 AM

Interesting how the view changes from moment to moment. I really thought of a mountain view as a more static thing, but it's proving to be quite otherwise.

This picture was taken this morning from the back deck and the fog cover in the distance was quite unexpected. But, at the same time it was new and amazing to see.

I'm still very thankful that the Lord saw fit to move us to this new and beautiful area, and also to move us closer to Jonathan and Amy.




We the People

AUGUST 07, 2022


We the People

08/07/22 07:25 AM

With our new Sling account, I've been watching a lot of golf and tennis. Took a break from all of that last night and watched God's Not Dead: We the People. That's one I'm delighted to have in my DVD library and I watch it when I'm looking for inspiration.

The writing on the God's Not Dead series is quite good in my opinion. Of course I'm no expert at writing a screenplay, but I do know what works well for me and that entire series has been an inspiration on all sorts of levels for me personally.

I have quite a lengthy list of DVD's in my library that have a strong spiritual component and it is always inspiring to spend an evening engrossed in one of the stories. I suppose I'm like those readers who don't mind going back to the same book over and over again, except for me it's movies.

Foot Note

08/07/22 9:50 AM

Weight Training

Well, yesterday I added a bold title for my footnotes topic. Pretty cool.

I also got in day 2 with my 3 day weight rotation. Day 2 also works out good with the missing 15 pounder. I'm doing two exercises with 20 pounders and two more with 10 pounders. Day 3 will be a rest day.

I like the intensity of the the Day 1 and Day 2 workouts and also the short length of only 10 reps x 3 sets x 4 exercises. I also like looping in a rest day to give me a day off even though I'm not taking any days off with cardio.




Credit Where Due

JULY 22, 2022


Jesus

07/21/22 05:48 PM

I love this picture of Jesus. It was painted by Akiane Kramarik, whose story was featured in the movie Heaven is For Real. We purchased a copy and it hangs in our home.

Now, I need to provide credit where credit is due. I wish I could take the credit just to know that I'm capable of controlling what I need to control and when I need to control it. However, I can't. That's all there is to it.

Patty and I prayed consistently that the Lord would go before us and clear a navigable path for us to travel with all that was involved in this move.

And, He did!

Looking back at all the challenges and the stress that wanted to accompany those challenges, it's clear that God was in charge. Every step of the way He was raising up valleys and chopping down mountains and making our path straight!

There was so much that could have gone wrong and we were living in a just-in-time world with the move. So many things had to come together and they did in such a way that I could never have accomplished or even imagined.

Thank you Lord for taking the lead. Please help me to always turn that lead over to you and to trust in you for your highest.




Kids

MAY 25, 2022


Kids 2

05/23/22 01:10 PM

I spoke to a friend recently and what he shared led me to realize just how easy it is to take significant blessings for granted. I knew I was blessed in the area he mentioned, but what he shared took my thinking to an entirely new level.

My friend was talking about some other friends we have in common and he shared that he and each of those other friends has at least one child who has turned away from God, some of whom have even turned away from their parents.

What a blessing and a true honor not to be facing that type of crisis. And from my perspective, it would indeed be a crisis.

Sure, I would still love a child who has decided to go in a different direction, but I'm so grateful that I don't face that in my life. And, I pray I never will.

I cannot say enough about how thankful I am for Allie and Jonathan! No father could ask more of two kids (now young adults) than all that they have done and become. I don't feel worthy to be a father to two such amazing people but I am indeed grateful for the privilege!

Lord, let me never be a stumbling block or offer an example that discourages my kids and aims them away from you. I pray that you continue to make yourself known to each of us in our family and that you continue to guide and direct us in the path you have set before us. Please provide us with the wisdom, foresight, and stamina to stay the course and know that we are forever grateful that you chose to call us.




My Soulmate

MAY 23, 2022


Soulmate

05/20/22 10:23 AM

Have you ever read a book or seen one of those movies where the leading guy or gal finds out he or she doesn't have long to live and they both start trying to make up for the time together that they are soon to lose? I'm suspect we've all read books or seen movies like that.

Well, somewhere along the way I realized how much I've been blessed with this beautiful, wonderful, and amazing woman who, for some odd reason, was willing to share a lifetime with this less than average guy. Every time I think about her, I feel like I want to do for her as if this was our last day together. And still, in close to 50 years together, I have yet to be able to out-give or out-love her. She treats me like the hero in her story. The one to which I could never measure up.

The feeling is almost like being given a second chance at a long life together, only because I've seen others who weren't afforded that opportunity, whether in a story or in real life. I get the feeling I don't want to waste a moment we have together, but would rather cherish each moment as if it was our last.

The term grateful doesn't even begin to express the way I feel about this incredible gift I have been given! Thank you Lord for this dear, sweet, soulmate. The one whose love is a gift I could never match, earn, or deserve.




Micah Wilder

MAY 22, 2022


Micah Wilder

05/20/22 09:31 AM

On a side note, I'm amazed that Patty saw rain coming today when there was none in the forecast. It came in a couple of spurts and didn't last long, but it was there.

I have no idea how the algorithm works that presents me with specific videos when I'm on YouTube. But, yesterday it introduced me to Micah Wilder in a video where he gave his testimony. It was quite unexpected in that it was nothing like anything I've watched on YouTube, except for the fact that that it had a Christian theme.

I was really touched by his testimony and sent a link to Patty and the kids and their spouses. I don't mind saying that one of the things that truly spoke to me was the fact that his conversion had such a far-reaching impact on his girlfriend and his entire family.

It's one thing to go through a change as he did, but it's entirely another when God uses that in such an amazing way to convert his girlfriend (now his wife), his brothers and sisters, and his mother and his father. That really speaks to me of something pretty amazing.

Here's a link.




More Spiritual Stuff

MAY 17, 2022


Molinism Shirt

05/16/22 5:00 PM

Despite all that I'm involved with in the technology sector behind the scenes with this blog, I want to get back to writing about my real passion in life, which is the world of the spiritual. In particular, it's the process of following Jesus daily and my search for truth that provide the ultimate focus for my attention in the spiritual arena.

Patty and I left Douglasville, Georgia close to ten years ago and headed for Florida following our (my?) dream to live on the ocean. Before we left, I was attending a small men's bible study on Monday mornings hosted by one of my friends. And, in that bible study we constantly wrestled with the tension that existed between Man's Free Will and The Sovereignty of God.

Each of us wrestled individually and as part of the group. I remember one person suggesting that perhaps the two were not mutually exclusive. For me, that almost bordered on heresy. How in the world could the two possibly coexist? It was a stretch too far for me in my thinking and in my belief system.

It had to be one or the other unless or until someone could adequately define how the two could coexist. I needed a rock-solid basis for belief in such a matter. I couldn't go there just because I wanted to, and believe me when I say that I think we all wanted to go there.

Some chose to take a position that we just can't know everything that God can do and reconciled the two on that basis. For me, that was a slippery slope. That's how cults accept the unacceptable. That's how false religions are born. It's also how Christians avoid study when it becomes necessary. Sure faith is important, but it has to be a reasonable faith. That's why I believe study is so important.

In my struggles, and as I was yet unable to reconcile the coexistence of man's free will with God's sovereignty, I begrudgingly opted to go with the sovereignty of God option because it seemed like the more important of the two.

After all, if our God isn't sovereign, then our claim is just one of many and offers no real merit upon which to stand. Even with the resurrection, if God is not sovereign then what would be the basis for my hope in Him?

In assuming the Sovereignty position, I didn't like the resulting theology into which I was forced. I couldn't accept that God authored evil, but was forced to go down that road if my Reformed Theology and the T.U.L.I.P. were to provide support for the importance I placed on The Sovereignty of God. I was beginning to wish that I could go back and enjoy the bliss of ignorance that I had once known.

I remember my last Monday with the men's group before we moved. I remember saying that I would be praying for guidance for all of us in this difficult matter. I would be praying with the hope that one day God would provide an answer.

Well, it happened. At some point in the past year, I was watching a Dr. William Lane Craig YouTube video and was introduced to Molinism. This idea, complicated though it might be, does indeed allow for man's free will and God's sovereignty to fully coexist. I called my friend who hosted the old bible study up in Douglasville (they're still going) and introduced him to the idea. It was great to catch up and to talk a bit about Molinism.

I've watched and read the critics of Molinism but so far, as I told my friend, I am compelled to believe in its legitimacy. And, I'm grateful to those who have gone before me and demonstrated what I have come to believe is the truth behind the idea. If you're intereseted and want to watch the William Lane Craig video that I mentioned, here is a link to it on YouTube.




Happy Mother's Day

MAY 08, 2022

Click card to enlarge.


Mother's Day

05/07/22 07:40 AM




Leading By Example

MAY 03, 2022


Leading By Example

05/01/22 11:08 AM

Just finished a good run and thought I would start this post before I get to my workout. Today is Core day so I'm in no rush to start LOL! And now, to the focus of today's post.

As I get older, I continue to see the wisdom in all that my parents said and did. They tried to lead by example, but I'm not sure I was smart enough to take my cue from their leadings. I had to find my own path.

The thing that's interesting to me is how much I have become like my parents as I have grown older. Back when I was in the 5th or 6th grade I remember mom telling me that she wished she had a tape recorder so she could play back for me some of the things I was saying. Every time I recall that story, I thank God that she didn't have that tape recorder. I'm sure I said some very foolish things.

Dad was a man of few words, but as I have aged, I've begun to understand why. There's great wisdom in guarding our words, and giving careful thought to each utterance. Gosh, I can go back in my mind's eye and see so many instances where dad did or said something that I thought was coming from an uninformed perspective. Boy, was I wrong! Such wisdom and I missed it! Had to learn it the hard way. And, my oh my those were some hard ways!

Wish I could travel back in time and thank mom and dad for their patience in dealing with things in me that weren't known back then. Things like Asperger's and the Autism spectrum. Although I've never been formally diagnosed, an Autism diagnosis sure does answer a lot of my questions.

There were lots of things that I wasn't programed to be able to pick up on, but as those things have come into focus for me, I'm so sorry that mom and dad aren't around to enjoy more of the fruit of their labors.

Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.




Christian Films

APRIL 26, 2022


Do You Believe

04/25/22 09:45 AM

Last night I watched a great movie entitled, Do You Believe? It would definitely be categorized as a Christian, or Inspirational, movie and I always enjoy watching a good one, even multiple times, since they always seem to encourage me and lift me up.

Other Christian or Inspirational films I have watched and that I really like include (in no particular order) Risen, Woodlawn, Luther, Amazing Grace, God's Not Dead, God's Not Dead 2, God's Not Dead: We the People, Love Finds You in Charm, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, and Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

I find that watching a Christian or Inspirational film often reminds me just how blessed I truly am!

Foot Notes

04/24/22 10:25 AM

Tracked my running time today using a different app on my Garmin Vivoactive 3. Instead of the Running app, I used the Cardio app and was still provided with all of the same data except for the mile one time, of which I just made a mental note when I reached my estimated mile one location.

I'm using estimates for mile one and mile two based on GPS readings on my watch when all seemed to be working well. Still not sure, but based on the times I'm going with it until I take time to do something more 'official' and determine something that is more accurate.

Today, my mile one time was 9:33 and mile two was 8:52. I'm thinking that should be pretty close to accurate considering the fact that mile two is more down-hill.




'Unbroken' Continues

APRIL 17, 2022


Unbroken's Sequel

04/16/22 04:27 PM

Not too many years ago, I had the opportunity to watch Unbroken. It was quite a story and the tidbits that they added at the end really brought home the inspirational aspects of Louis Zamperini's life.

It was also interesting to see Irish actor, Domhnall Gleeson, who provided an understated performance as Lt. Russell "Phil" Phillips, a close friend of Louis Zamperini and one of two who spent 47 days adrift at sea with him.

Gleeson captured my attention in the films About Time and Ex Machina. I liked his delivery in both and have definitely become a fan.

But, the real focus here is about the Sequel, Unbroken: Path to Redemption and the incredibly powerful and inspirational story it brings to the silver screen. I had no idea that there was any follow-up to the original story beyond the tidbits at the end of the movie that I mentioned earlier.

But, the spiritual theme reflected in the trailer caught my attention and reeled me in. And, I must say that I was not at all disappointed. I managed to purchase the two-movie set for about $6 online and am so glad to have them in my film collection.




Faith and Reason

APRIL 11, 2022




04/10/22 09:00 AM

I hope I can find the right words to share what it is that I want to share here. Over the many years the Lord has had me on this journey, I've learned that my walk in Him and with Him has to be grounded in a combination of Faith and Reason. I am 100% confident that a journey grounded in only one or the other will not last.

When the storms of life arrive, and for most of us they will arrive, only a solid foundation in both Faith and Reason will provide us with the equipping we need to stand firm in the tests that are sure to challenge us.

The faith side of the equation is easy. The bible makes it plainly clear that it is by our faith that we are saved. But, I have also learned that there is a faith element involved in this walk. In other words, it was only in my search for all of the answers that I discovered the faith element and its importance.

But when those storms arrive, and we start to ask the difficult questions, our faith will be tested and must be grounded in the reason that is built upon the study to which we are called in scripture. It is by that dilligent study that we learn to discern truth and how to walk in that truth.

So, where am I going with all of this? Well, we have entered a new era whereby the atheists are boldly shouting their claims against God. And, ill-equipped Christians are buying in on what they have to say.

That's why I'm so glad I happened across the above video on YouTube. It was so encouraging, and strengthening to my faith, to hear a former atheist provide an inspirational testimony regarding the manner in which he was called to the Christian faith and the importance of it in his life.

If you haven't heard Dr. Sy Garte's testimony on one of several YouTube videos out on the web, I hope you'll take a moment to click above. Dr. Sy Garte is a retired Biochemist who grew up under the influences of three generations of atheists who, as he says, were very left-wing, strong, and militant.

Sy shares the tough questions that he had and the answers he discovered which led to his conversion. It's quite a story and one that I hope touches you like it did me.




Going Deep

APRIL 05, 2022


Going Deep

In my post on December 06, 2020 I wrote about three guys whom I credit with a lot of the spiritual growth I have been blessed with over the years. Each has been an amazing example in my life.

One of those guys, Joe Fowler, used to talk about Going Deep. It was a spiritual reference to diving deeper into the things of God. I've always been grateful for those moments in my life when I was encouraged and enabled to go deep with someone I loved and respected.

Since those wonderful days when I used to go deep with those guys, I have seen it happen with my son and daughter. It's really an amazing thing and I have grown to realize that it's actually the Holy Spirit who is taking me on that deeper dive.

In sharing spiritual things with my son and daughter, I have been amazed at the many instances when the Holy Spirit used me to deliver wisdom that was far beyond anything I knew or understood. It was not beyond me to take a moment and marvel at the things God gave me to share.

Wow! Where did that come from? was usually the prevailing thought. Actually, I knew exactly where those bits of wisdom came from, but that's the very thing that made those moments more amazing and special, and even inspirational.

Despite all of that, nothing tops those moments when the Holy Spirit uses my wife to take me to the deep end of the pool. My brother and friend, Joe, used to say, It's lonely in the deep end. I knew just what he meant, and because I did it only made me more grateful that I had a wife who often invited me to swim with her in the deep end. Such amazing moments!

Thank you, Lord, for providing me with a wife and kids who inspire and encourage me to swim with them in the deep end of the pool. And, thank you Lord, for the wisdom that is so often provided in the deep end by your Holy Spirit.

Foot Note

04/04/22 06:03 PM As I've done here, I'm going to start adding a date and time to posts and their foot notes. Whether I write a day ahead or not, the reader will be able to better determine when the post was written and should be able to better understand the context for what is being written.

For example, Patty and I just got back from a walk (read stroll.) We've already done our daily exercise routines so this was meant to be a casual stroll and will hopefully be the first of many. It was great just to take in the homes and scenery, not to mention other strollers and dog walkers.

Patty does a fast walk for her morning routine and is able to take everything in on that walk as well. I, on the other hand, don't have much opportunity to look around and take things in when I'm running, so our evening stroll promises to be something special for me each evening we choose to go out.

I'm looking forward to keeping it casual. No goals or time targets, just an opportunity to get out when we both feel like it and to enjoy a quiet stroll and potentially the beginnings of a beautiful sunset.




Romance

MARCH 27, 2022


Romance 2

When we left Derby Lane in Georgia, I had no idea that so many changes would take place in our living quarters and that the Lord would provide such a rich blessing along the way, and through all of that.

We lived in Georgia at the same address for about 25 years where we raised our kids. However, while we were still there both of our kids moved out to begin their new lives. And, not long after we did the exact same thing.

As I have said before, Patty and I decided to go after life's romance and we moved to a townhome on the water in Pensacola, Florida where we thought we would retire. Clearly, God had other plans for our retirement.

Shortly after we purchased our place, and before we moved in, a big storm passed through and put two or three feet of water in the entrance to our townhome. That was the bad news, but the good news was that the entrance was small and immediately led to a set of stairs, at the top of which was a beautiful home facing out on Perdido Bay. Suffice to say, the damage produced by the flood was minimal and was easily and cost effectively repaired.

Little did we know that this would be the first of three homes for us in Florida before we left the state and landed here in southern Alabama. And, little did we know how rich His blessings would be and how much we would learn about ourselves and our search for the romance that I spoke of earlier.

They say, If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. He must have had a good chuckle at all we did, but despite His laughter he loved us, cared for us, and provided blessing after blessing for us.

We still don't know what we want to do or be when we grow up, but we are doing our best to listen out for His voice in all that we do. And, as we listen to His voice there is still a lot of life to be lived, things to take care of, and romance to be discovered. All by His grace and guiding hands.




Boldness

MARCH 21, 2022


Boldness

I was watching a YouTube video yesterday about the Name It, Claim It leaders and followers who profess the Christian faith. I've been in a cult before so I know how easy it is to fall blind to the truth and live by something completely different instead. These preachers of prosperity play on the ignorance of the masses.

I truly hurt for those who follow these Charlatans with their incredible wealth, all made possible by those blind followers. We don't know how blind we have become until truth finally makes its way into our war-torn lives and the scales fall off of our eyes.

In my experience, I've seen how easy it is to trust in the belief system and the confidence of someone else. It's so much easier than investing in God's truth by investing in study, prayer, and seeking the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit and that is confirmed via God's written word. But, isn't this life worth all of that?

Let me say that while I have mentioned the prosperity preachers, I'm really talking about anyone who wants to impose their belief system (or lack thereof) upon you. It's easy to mistake a person's intensity toward changing your life for confidence in what they believe. Whether their motive is money, power, or the pride of a notch on their belt, it is anything but God-based.

The mature and spirit-filled Christian would much rather stay out of God's way and have Him change you in line with His plan for your life. The mature Christian will not push anything on you. He or she may share scripture in the hopes that the Lord will speak to you, but from a mature Christian, even that will be limited.

Like all sincere believers, I want to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ. But, I pray that God would provide me with the boldness to trust in my study. Let me trust in my prayers. Let me trust in the wisdom and discernment that is afforded me by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, let me see what is true and what is not in the lives of others. Let me be influenced and taught by those where God's truth is apparent by seeing the same thing in one's life that I read about in the scriptures. Let me run from those who believe and teach lies. And Lord, I pray that your Holy Spirit would provide me with the wisdom and discernment to know the difference.

Lord, let me walk with boldness in your truth.

Foot Note

I was also watching a YouTube video put together and published by Johnny Harris. I've become a big fan of his political commentary, but this particular video was his story of how and why he left the Morman Church.

I have great respect for what he offered and it demonstrates a lot of intelligence and forethought. I could really relate to a lot of what he shared.

Where he and I might tend to differ is with our use of the term church. You see, as a Christian I too left today's broken church but in no way have I left the Christian faith.

Honestly, I'm glad Johnny left the Mormon faith and I hope he has an opportunity to discover the same Jesus Christ that I have discovered in the Christian faith.




Perfectionist

MARCH 14, 2022


Perfectionist

Before I get into the topic du jour, I should mention that today would have been mom's 93rd birthday. We lost her in 1998 when she was only 69 years old. Happy (celebrating her memory) 93rd to mom!

I'm far from perfect in any area. But, that doesn't stop me from trying. Yeah, I have the unfortunate trait of being a perfectionist and have learned over my lifetime just how problematic that can be!

They say that perfectionist are also the world's worst procrastinators. That's because they know they can't do something perfectly, so they just put it off. That's one characteristic I haven't had to battle. I'm only too glad to attack something believing I can do it perfectly, only to discover somewhere in there that I can't!

What happens thereafter is almost humorous. I'll just keep attacking it until I either run out of time or money, or until I abandon the effort having finally come to grips with my perfectionist tendencies in the matter.

Combine my perfectionist tendencies with a need to control the outcome and it makes for a very unfortunate situation. It means I won't like the result that anyone comes up with, including my own. That's tough to admit, but when I justify that behavior with a more reasonable always do a good job mindset, well..., I can be sure there's a trap up ahead! After all, that's just pretending that I'm not a perfectionist.

I suspect those of us who battle perfectionist tendencies realize that those tendencies are part of our DNA and will make for a life-long battle that is never really overcome. We're doing well just to recognize the potential problems those tendencies can bring about, such that we try to become students of the matter and fight the good fight when necessary.




Change

MARCH 11, 2022


Change

Too often I write things or talk with my wife or one of the kids about things that result in deep discussions but bring about little or no change. Even the two books I'm going through can point out the need for change, unfortunately without my following through.

If deep thoughts and discussions don't result in needed change, then what good are they? To me, deep equates to both new and good. If I'm presented with new and good ideas whether from God via the Holy Spirit, or from my wife or kids, why wouldn't I act upon them and allow them to bring about change in my life?

My wife and I had just such a deep discussion today. It was the kind of discussion that brings about ideas that are new and good to me and that clearly demonstrate a need for change in my life.

So, here's the catch. Introducing changes to my life in this senior season of life is like adding tint to a can of orange paint in an effort to produce a different color or shade. It's one thing to make changes to a can of white paint, but quite another to try and change an existing color, like orange.

At this point in life, doing something often first requires the undoing of something. Can I make yellow paint from blue, or should I get rid of the blue and start fresh with white in an effort to produce the yellow that I need? Or, more to the point, can I really become something without first addressing what I've already become?

The good news is that when we were forgiven, God took away all of our old paint and provided us with a large and fresh batch of white. But, aren't some things just wired into our DNA? What do we do about those?

That's why I believe being a Christian is synonymous with being on a journey. We're all sinners. It's in our DNA. Even though we're forgiven and saved by grace we remain sinners and will always be in constant need of God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It's a good thing that we are saved by God's grace and that He forgives us daily and that His mercies never come to an end and finally that they are new every morning.

Lord, help me to change what I can, learn how to live with what I can't, and please provide wisdom, that I might know the difference.




Organic Living

MARCH 06, 2022


Organic

I started thinking about my relationship with Jesus Christ this morning and somehow the word organic came to mind. So, I went searching online for definitions.

Here's what I found on a couple of different sites including Webster's:

relating to or derived from living matter
of, relating to, or derived from living organisms
having systematic coordination of parts : ORGANIZED

The definitions confirmed my thinking. I want an organic relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to remember that He is the person to whom I pray, and not a thing to which I pray. I want to walk and talk with Him daily and not just think of Him as the thing I seek out and talk to when I need something and when it's convenient.

I want to always remember that He is alive and has a plan for my life. I want to remember that He can and will guide my steps if I let Him. I want to do what He wants me to do and not what I imagine He wants me to do. I want to live daily in His perfect will.

I don't want to live in an inorganic world of monuments built by men, but in the organic world with those whom Christ places in my path. Lord, let me always be aware of those you have placed around me and how you would have me walk among them and interact with them.




Others

FEBRUARY 26, 2022


Others

My memory is horrible! If it's important, it goes somewhere on my calendar. If it's not important, it never really gets registered anywhere. As a result with my short-term memory, it doesn't get remembered either.

There's a real risk in thinking that way. The question becomes, important to whom? Is it important to me or to others and, if to others, isn't there a real possibility that it still should be important to me?

My solution to that is a simple one. If it's important to others, then it goes on my prayer list under the name of the person to whom it is important. And, with that, it also ensures that it remains important to me.

Honestly though, that's still not good enough for me. Why? Because I don't believe it's good enough for God. I believe God wants the cares of others to be important enough to me that they are always on my mind. Not only am I praying for them without ceasing, but I'm praying (and more importantly caring) throughout the day for the needs and cares of others.

My wife and my son and daughter and their respective families provide good examples of what I'm talking about. I want their cares to be my cares and on my mind throughout the day, not just on my physical prayer list. I want those cares to be cared for (and even prayed over) throughout the day and not just reviewed and prayed over once a day.

I've got some work to do on that one.




Evidence

FEBRUARY 25, 2022


Evidence

When I think of evidence I think of a courtroom. I've been in one a few times but I suspect my real image of courtrooms and what goes on in them comes from both movies and TV news.

I think of the prosecuting attorney entering things into evidence. But when I think of that evidence, I keep coming back to Romans 1:20 and the evidence for God.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Scripture calls us to test everything, and hold on to that which is good. For me, that's a simple thing because testing everything seems to be present in my DNA. However, I've also come to realize that test results are sometimes limited and that's where faith still has to kick in. That was and still is a big lesson in my life.

As Christ and His world-wide church are more and more called into question by our ever evolving culture, for me the evidence continues to stack up in Christ's favor. I can say that with all confidence, not because of what I've read or been told, but because of what I've experienced and seen with my own eyes.

Yesterday, I made a visit to the ear doctor. While in the examination room, waiting for the doctor to come in, I looked at the diagrams of the inner ear that were framed and posted on the walls.

There it is! More evidence of our intelligent designer. Add to that the evidence found in manuscripts, archeology, prophecies, and pure statistics, and I'm 100% a believer and follower of Christ, the one and only true God and our intelligent designer.

If I'm looking for evidence, it's there to be found in Jesus Christ.




Grace Unplugged

FEBRUARY 21, 2022


Grace Unplugged

Last night I watched a movie titled Grace Unplugged. It's a Christian based story and one that I enjoyed. Like so many Christian based films, it was lacking in some areas. But, one of the things that really touched me was the fact that I was able to let go of those issues and let God speak to me through it.

As one who has been involved in the world of film making, I know too well the problems (and expense!) associated with a good film. It's no wonder that a big budget film costs many millions of dollars when the lighting guy may spend the better part of a day putting together something special just for one scene.

In my film making exploits, I didn't have the luxury (or to be honest, the knowledge) that comes with a big budget and the years of experience necessary to be involved in that arena and at that level. I suppose that's why I find it easier to look past those expensive problems and see if there's a good story in there somewhere. And, to my surprise, quite often there is.

One thing I've learned with my limited experience is that movie magic can occur with any budget size. You can't create it. It just happens. And, when it does all you can do is hope that you don't get in the way. That's been my experience anyway.

I'm so grateful that there is an up-and-coming film genre for the Christian market. As demand becomes greater, so do the budgets. I'm grateful that very talented people are telling some wonderful stories and I'm grateful for the blessings that are experienced by those of us who are Christians and Christian movie consumers.




Father Cavanaugh

FEBRUARY 20, 2022


Priest

One day I will move on to my heavenly reward. No one knows the time or place, but it has never seemed so real to me as it does now, knowing that God has brought me forward from my years as a young lad and into my senior years.

Like most anyone else I could imagine, I would love to have many more years in this wonderfully blessed life God has provided for me. But, at the same time, I am so grateful to have enjoyed 67 years and all of the experiences a man could ask for - especially so many amazing years with my wonderful soulmate and two incredible children.

I look forward to as many more years as God has set out for me in His plan, but I intend to take things a day at a time, lest I try and control that which cannot be controlled.

On my prayer list, I have written inic which is intended to help God continually remind me that I'm Not In Charge. I often feel like Father Cavanaugh, the Catholic Priest in the movie Rudy, when he says:

In 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him.




Major Problem

FEBRUARY 17, 2022


Major Problem

I was reading my daily devotion in Regi Campbell's Radical Wisdom and something I read really clicked for me. It said:

Here's a major problem. Mankind has always turned God into a set of rules. God is a someone, not a something.

Wow! God has been working on me for a long time in the area of faith and my need to pursue faith in Him to balance my pursuit of His rules. But, Regi has taken things a step further. He's pointed out a matter of which I needed to be reminded. He's pointed out that there's a difference between a something and a someone.

Lord, I know faith and rules are important, but help me to keep them in perspective and to remember that, first and foremost, it is you I am pursuing.




Awareness

FEBRUARY 16, 2022


Awareness

I was watching YouTube videos last night and couldn't believe how many things have happened of which I was not aware. Pretty surprising!

I'm sure it sounds strange, but there's a lot of things about which I would prefer to remain unaware. Awareness brings with it a burden and it's my perspective that we should be careful about what we watch, hear, and consume.

I mentioned recently the idea we live in the world but are not of it. My thinking is that becoming aware of worldly things places us at risk of being influenced by them.

I'm not saying we should bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich, but I do believe that turning a blind eye to the evils of the world can and will protect us from their potential influences.

I sincerely believe there is a reason that we let our curiosity get the best of us and that we feel we need to be aware and informed of all matters. Even our pursuit of entertainment often places us at risk. Seems innocent on the surface, but often ideas are screaming at us in an effort to gain entry.

I would suggest that some matters are better left unseen, unspoken, and untouched.




Truth

FEBRUARY 15, 2022


Truth

In a spiritual sense, I'm comfortable with my belief in the concept of truth. In a worldly sense, not so much.

The problem as I see it is that while we may not be of this world, we are most certainly in it. And to me, that means I must be able to engage a worldly mindset without being influenced or changed by it.

But, equally important, I must be a discerner lest I react negatively and fail to engage worldly situations just because they are worldly. After all, how can I hope to be salt in this world if I'm not willing engage it.

That's a lot to think about!




Eating Out

FEBRUARY 13, 2022


Food 2

My mom and dad didn't spend a lot of time instructing me in matters of life. Sure, there were times when they sat down with me and tried to explain things to the best of their ability. But, most of what I learned from them was more by example than with words.

Looking back, I'm amazed at the things I picked up and how I applied them. It all reminds me of a story I once heard about a daughter who cut a roast in half before putting it in the pot and decided to call her mom and ask why her mom taught her to do that. To the daughter's surprise, her mom chuckled and explained that she never owned a pot big enough to hold an entire roast.

That story paints a real picture of so many of the things I learned. It also explains my willingness to apply those things, exactly as I learned them, even when they went beyond my understanding. Eating out provides a great example of what I'm describing and it does so on so many levels.

Growing up, we ate out a lot. It was always a pleasure since we got to choose what we wanted to eat with very few limitations. Eating out kind of trained me to consider what I wanted to eat, right at meal time, and then to indulge that craving as I placed my order.

Dad was on the road a lot and he once told me that being on the road always made him long for a good home-cooked meal. However, we lived off home-cooked food when dad was away and mom always wanted to eat out when dad came home. She wasn't a big fan of cooking or home-cooked meals. As a result, when dad came home, we ate out. And looking back, we ate out a lot.

Holidays always presented an interesting situation. Grocery stores started offering ready to carry out holiday meals and dad was there, front and center, to purchase them and bring them home.

As we got older, dad prepared the meals himself. This was often done with the help of the rotisserie and soft ice cream machines he sold with his business.

Somehow, I had it in my mind that I was doing Patty a favor by taking her out. Little did I realize that Patty preferred to eat at home and I was the one who was receiving the benefit. Sure there were times when Patty wanted to eat out too, but not nearly as often as I was pushing for.

Only now in my senior years, and particularly in recent months, have I been able to see the need to retrain my thinking. Only recently have I been able to see the selfishness inherent in my way of looking at things. How I have been able to impose a culture for so long, based on the way I was raised, and more importantly my selfishness, is truly beyond my understanding.

Perhaps it took a pandemic to help me understand and start me down the right path. Thank you, Lord for opening my eyes.




On the Scale

FEBRUARY 11, 2022


On the Scale

On the scale? I'm not talking about the one that checks our weight. These days I seem to constantly be on that scale. Perhaps too often.

The scale, or spectrum, I'm referencing has to do with Asperger's or, as of the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Autism.

I'm convinced, as one person put it, that being on the spectrum has always been, and will continue to be, my Super Power. I'm quite happy with the positives it brings to my life and am still learning to deal with the struggles. I bring it up because of what was mentioned in my 365 devotions book on Radical Wisdom written by Regi Campbell.

Earlier in my life, I struggled with anxiety and lived in the Glass Half Empty category of life. But now, in my senior years, I have a strong sense (like I've never had before) of gratefulness and with it, an absence of anxiety. I'm clearly enjoying the peace and power that seem to be inherent in the Glass Half Full category of life.

Some of my family members do this cool exercise each year where they pick a word and focus upon it for the year as a means of bringing it to life in their day to day activities. The first year I heard about that exercise, I chose the word Grateful.

I must confess that I probably chose that word less for my need to focus upon it, and more for its importance in my life at that time. That was several years ago and even though I'm sure I'm missing the whole point of the exercise, I have yet to be able to choose another word.

Thank you, Lord for bringing me to the Glass Half Full side of life.

I am eternally grateful!




Mikaela Shiffrin

FEBRUARY 09, 2022


Mikaela

Remember those institutions that I mentioned yesterday? The ones that bring us our news? Well, it's bad enough when they get liberal on this conservative, but it's quite another thing when the values they are espousing cut across mine.

Such has been the case with NBC's coverage of the Olympics. To be honest, it's not just NBC. It's most every news organization out there and their need to get ahead no matter the cost to whatever or whomever is being covered.

All too often, our news organizations love to create a good story and when the story doesn't play out the way they thought it would, they love to cover the downsides. And I guess news consumers get caught up in it to the point that these news organizations are left with no alternative but to play up those downsides.

It's been interesting to get on Twitter and see what people think and are saying at a grassroots level. There's a large segment of the audience that thrives on both sides of the story. There are those who are eating up the critical coverage and those who are screaming out against it.

I'd ask how we got here, but its possible I may already know the answer to that question.




Institutions

FEBRUARY 08, 2022


Institutions

Not long ago, I heard a man speaking on television and he was talking about the importance of institutions. I found myself immediately reacting to what he was saying and I had to stop and process my thoughts.

I've suffered spiritual abuse at the hands of spiritual institutions and find it difficult now to trust them. In fact, I don't mind admitting that the kind of abuse I have suffered makes it difficult for me to trust certain types of institutions, including many of the companies I worked for. After all, those institutions are made up of people and people are capable of terrible things.

On the other hand, I recognize that some institutions can be incredibly beneficial and, to me, are worth the potential problems that might be inherent in them. The institution of family comes to mind. However, I don't tend to view family in an institutional sense, but more a spiritual sense, and that may explain why I'm able to function well in that arena and why I place such importance upon it.

Perhaps my disdain for institutions explains why I liked President Trump. He fought political institutions and the institutions that provide our news. He didn't like them and they didn't like him. I relate well with all of that.

In fact, our social media outlets were useful until their institutional nature showed its ugly head in banning our president and other conservatives from 'using' them to get past the news media.

What about Covid-19 and our governmental medical institutions? I'm not talking about hospitals and doctor's offices but rather the government's supposed need to get involved in our decision making process. I guess that's the anti-institutional Libertarian coming out in me. My handyman friend said it best when he told me that he feels essential.




God's Provision

FEBRUARY 07, 2022


God's Provision

At this point in our lives, I thought things were supposed to slow down. Apparently, that's just not the case. God seems to keep me busy, and I'm thinking that's actually a good thing.

I doubt the reader of this post needs a laundry list of all the things God is doing in my life, but suffice to say it's already been a busy morning. Still, it's not been too busy to be a spiritual day as I mentioned yesterday, but there's something truly satisfying about productivity and getting things done on a busy day.

My spiritual mentor in life, Joe Strickland (who has now moved on to heaven and is enjoying his reward with our Lord) used to talk about how wonderful it was to be able to pay his bills each month and what a sense of satisfaction he received from the experience.

I must admit that at that time in my life, I was barely able to pay my bills and was living paycheck to paycheck and captivated by fear that the day might come where I actually could not pay my bills.

Speaking of fear, today's radical wisdom (daily devotion) talks about the idea that Hate is not the opposite of Love but rather Fear is actually the opposite. That's profound and really speaks to me, especially as I'm writing this post.

Some how or another, God had placed in me a supernatural trust that his provision would always be there and just in time. Little did I know God's plan to prosper me and bring to me, in my senior years, that same sense of joy that Joe Strickland had described.

Thank you, Lord for your provision. May I never take it for granted.




Spiritual Day

FEBRUARY 06, 2022


Spiritual Day

Today is Sunday. Our culture tells us it's a spiritual day. But actually, every day is, or should be, a spiritual day. I love this quote:

We're not earthly beings having a spiritual experience, we're spiritual beings having an earthly experience.

I'm grateful that God has pointed me to the two books I'm going through. I've mentioned them before but they have become part of my routine and both help me to ensure each day becomes a spiritual day.

I don't want to wait and hope that happens. I need to pursue God in the start of each day and provide Him an opportunity to make that happen.

Lord, let today and every day be a spiritual day focused upon you!




Back To Germany

FEBRUARY 03, 2022


Allie 3

Well, it doesn't seem like that many days ago that we were just picking up Allie from the Mobile, Alabama Airport after her long flight from Germany. And now we've said our goodbyes and have delivered her back to the airport where she will soon travel via Huston, Texas and Frankfurt, Germany to reunite with her family just outside of Stuttgart, Germany.

The three of us provided a lot of support for the eating establishments in and around the Spanish Fort, Alabama area but it's time to get back to what we tend to call normal around here and that will include lots of Patty's amazing home cooking.

If all goes according to plan, we look forward to hosting the entire Snow family this summer. I'm sure the boys will make good use of the pool, and that may include the big boys. If the ladies don't join us in the pool, I'm sure they will be watching the fun from the comfort of the lounge chairs.

Until then, we'll be wrapping up a cold and windy winter season and looking forward to the arrival of spring. Not far behind will be a yard that will need tending and pool water that will be warming up just in time for the arrival of the entire Snow family.

Can't wait!




Day Nine

FEBRUARY 02, 2022


Allie 10

Day nine! Our last full day with Allie before she returns to her husband and two boys in Germany. I have mixed emotions because it's been a real treat and a blessing to have her here, but I can only imagine the sacrifice that has been provided by Josh, Noah, and Gabe to enable the blessing of having her with us!

Will we miss her? Absolutely! Will we be glad to see her reunited with Josh and the boys? You better believe it!

It sure was good to catch up with her and all that has been going on back in Germany. What an amazing trip they are all on! I can't wait to hear all about the next chapter in their adventure.

It's the same with Jonathan and Amy. Only God could design such an amazing journey for both kids and their respective families. And what a wonderful thing to be in a season of life where we get to be observers. And what an amazing blessing that our kids and their families allow and enable us to watch all that is going on and in some way to be a small part of the excitement.

Here's to one more wonderful day with Allie. Thank you Josh, Noah, and Gabe for allowing us the incredible blessing of this time together with our daughter!




Day Eight

FEBRUARY 01, 2022


Allie 9

Day eight! Made me think of the old Beatles song, Eight Days a Week. Not sure where that came from but it brings back some great memories of life in Hialeah, Florida many years ago.

Well, we finished up the left-overs last night and enjoyed another movie. I wasn't sure if Allie and Patty would enjoy Desert Dancer as much as I did, but it seems they had the same wonderful experience I had. The movie starts off slow and early on may even seem like it's not worth watching until the end. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's a wonderfully touching (and true) story!

As we were departing the front room last night and preparing to head to bed, I told Allie that I was already missing her, even though she hasn't left yet. It was just one of those special moments where God reminded me how much she has blessed us and where I realized that it might be quite a while before we get to see her once again after she leaves on Thursday.

I'm so glad that we've been able to give her our full attention while she's here and that we are in a position to do just that. Thank you, Lord for the amazing blessings you have provided Patty and I via our daughter and our son. May we always be mindful of all that you have done for us in that respect.

Also worth mentioning is the blessing I received from my 52 Hebrew Words book. Today's word was Shalom and I was confident that I already had a pretty good handle on that word. Boy was I wrong!

While we may all know that Shalom represents peace, I was not aware that back in the day peace was considered more important than truth. How can that be I thought? I've always placed such high importance on truth and did not know that Shalom also means being fully unified with God. Wow! Now I understand. What is truth if we are not fully unified with God?




Day Seven

JANUARY 31, 2022


Allie 8

Busy day! Today is day seven with Allie and here at 3:10 PM we've already done quite a bit. The ladies started out the day with a bunch of shopping, so that Allie could find the things she can't find in Germany and so that Patty could pick up one more piece of art for our bedroom. (See picture above)

From what I'm told, Allie actually found the exact thing Patty was looking for. It's a graphic mosaic piece that sort of goes along with the one we already have on another wall (see picture below.) We just finished mounting the new piece and it looks great and really fits in.

Allie 8a

Allie found what she needed and she's trying to figure out how she will get everything packed in her limited space for the trip back to Germany. It looks like she has a good plan that will work for her.

Allie picked up a supply of Chic-fil-a sauce for the boys and a meal for herself for lunch. Patty and I picked up a salad from Rouses Market. They are our go-to place for anything and everything when it comes to good food and drink.

The girls got in a walk and I got in a run and had time to paint over the white lines out on the street where the basketball court used to be defined. I did it with some black paint that I picked up from Ace Hardware today while we were out and around.

I guess we'll do some left-overs tonight from Patty's birthday meal that we enjoyed yesterday, and I'm sure the evening will include another movie or two.




Happy Birthday Patty

JANUARY 30, 2022


Allie 7

I can't think of anything I'd rather write about than my wife, Patty; and, today is her birthday so it seems like the perfect time!

I've blogged before about Patty and Allie choosing a new word each year as their primary focus, and I've included a mention that my word, from year to year, has continued to be grateful.

I suppose it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that my wonderful and amazing soul mate tops the list of things for which I am grateful. What am incredible gift from God I've been given! And what a joy it has been to walk together!

On a different note, today is also Day 6 with Allie. The three of us enjoyed two Christ-focused movies last night and we've been swapping notes about our respective take-aways from each. What a wonderful thing it is to have our walks enhanced by true stories to which we might otherwise have not had access.

Speaking of grateful, I'm glad that warmer weather is on the schedule and am looking forward to a more comfortable run this afternoon. And, as I've said before, what good things are in store beyond that is anyone's guess.




Day Five

JANUARY 29, 2022


Allie6

Another wonderful day with Allie. I chauffeured the ladies around as they took in some shops and then we had a nice lunch at the Mediterranean Sandwich Shop. I couldn't resist the Greek Salad with the Gyro meat on top and it was just as good as I hoped it would be.

Next step will be to see if I can brave the 45 degree temps and 10 mph winds to get in a run. It sure is tempting to wave it off, but then I would have to deal with the regrets and that tends to be worse (and lasts longer!) than the cold run.

After tonight, we won't have any more freezing or below freezing temps for the rest of Allie's stay with us. That means I can add the cut-on and cut-off switches back to the pool pump/filter timer tomorrow and get things running on a more regular and automated basis.

I've really been enjoying my Radical Wisdom and my 52 Hebrew Words books that I purchased while we were down in Fairhope with Allie recently. She also purchased the 365 Devotions book for Josh and the 52 Hebrew Words for herself, which she has also been reading. I love Regi Campbell's Radical Wisdom in his 365 Devotions. The Lord really uses that book to speak to me!

Looking forward to the rest of the day!




Day Four

JANUARY 28, 2022


Allie5

We're entering day four with Allie and what a wonderful time it's been so far! Allie and I rose early as usual and had a very nice time sharing deep things with each other. What a blessing to have her here and to receive such a detailed update on all that is going on with Josh, Noah, and Gabe and life in Germany.

I got some chores (and this blog post) done while Allie and Patty spent time together. It was fun to hear Patty sharing some of her favorite youtube sites with Allie. And, it was fun hearing them both swap notes and ideas specific to what they were watching.

It will be lunch time soon and I suppose we'll get a run/walk in shortly after. From there, it's anybody's guess as to what the day will hold for us. We'll see!




Day Three

JANUARY 27, 2022


Allie4

Today is Fairhope day! In other words, today is the day we took Allie down to see and do all there is to see and do in the city of Fairhope, Alabama. Well, maybe not everything, but we did take in a lot of the shops and found a very good place for lunch. If you make it to lower Alabama, it's definitely worth going just a bit out of your way to take in everything that Fairhope has to offer.

The picture is of the Fairhope pier there on the Fairhope coast. That's where we started our day before making our way up to the shops and to a great restaurant for paninis, burgers, and a salad with grilled tuna.

We made our way back home just in time to get in our walks and runs. What we do for the rest of the evening is anyone's guess. Hope you're having an equally wonderful day wherever you are and whatever you're doing.




Day Two

JANUARY 26, 2022


Allie3

It's day two and we are so excited to have Allie with us. We've gotten into a routine but also know that routines seem to have been created just so that we can break out of them and do something different. Less eating may be just such an example.

Today was a Rouses day with a lunch-time salad bar and a pickup of some take-out sushi to place in the fridge until supper time. We set pennies aside just for the possibility to enjoy such opportunities and have not been disappointed with the way things are turning out for us.

Last night I was able to swing back by the airport and pick up Allie's bag. It was an unexpected treat to see all that she had brought us from Germany and that was stored up in her bag. What a blessing!

More tomorrow!




Day One

JANUARY 25, 2022


Allie2

Well, as expected we picked up Allie last night at the airport. Her flight was delayed and her bags didn't make it from Houston, but all in all it was still a good thing since we got to host our daughter.

We had a wonderful time talking on the one hour ride back to the house and we crashed when we got home - at about midnight. Allie and I were up our early and enjoyed chatting until Patty joined us. We also got to enjoy a nice video call with Josh and the boys and Allie.

Allie's bag should arrive today from Houston and I'll probably confirm that by phone and then head over to pick it up. Otherwise, it's probably going to be a pretty easy-going day. We'll take it as it comes and the posts will be short and to the point while Allie's here.




Big Day

JANUARY 24, 2022


Allie

Well, today's a big day! Our daughter Allie is flying in (alone) from Germany to spend some time with us. It promises to be a wonderful time together and I'm sure we'll talk until we solve all of the world's problems.

I've been grateful that this is the only night where temps are not projected to be at or below freezing since it's also the night we pick up Allie from the Mobile airport. Unfortunately, I discovered why the temps are not going down too far - it's supposed to rain. Ugh!

Oh well, a little rain never hurt anyone. It will make for less than exciting driving conditions from the airport back to the house (rain and dark) but, as I've said many times before, if that's my biggest problem in life, I've got it made!

Josh and Allie and the grandsons are all big fans of Chic-fil-a so I'm sure we'll hit that a few times while she's here. In fact, I think she has plans to do a carry out on her last night and take some home for the family. I'm sure that will be fun for the boys!

We want to take Allie down to Fairhope since it's such a cool place to shop and eat. Beyond that, we don't have any big plans. We'll just take things as they show up on our radar.

It's my understanding that the boys (Josh, Noah, and Gabe) are goning to be doing a lot of guy stuff while Allie's over here. I hope they have a great time and enjoy a wide variety of guy stuff, which I'm sure will include cooking out on the grill, wrestling matches, outdoor stuff, and whatever else those guys like to do.




Retired Life

JANUARY 17, 2022


Retired Life

I went in search of online images to use for the Retired Life theme for this post. I found all the pictures I had imagined with the nice looking gray haired couples walking on the beach as if they had not a care in the world.

Initially, that was exactly what I was looking for. Back when I was much younger, I prayed for an intelligent, loving, kind-hearted, feminine, and extremely beautiful wife and that she and I would age well (like those pictures) as we got into our senior years.

Well, from my perspective that's exactly what God delivered and I couldn't be more grateful. I don't have to look any further than the incredible soul mate that God provided for me to realize just how grateful I really am. Anything and everything else is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.

One of the things I had not anticipated, but for which I am equally grateful is my wife's passion for the Simple Life. She has taught me an entirely different way to look at life and I'm all in on it. She even has, and often enjoys, her rocking chair outside by the pool. It's just like the one in the picture. From my sweet wife I have learned that simple is simply better.

Simple is downsizing. Simple means taking in more than you spend. Simple is debt-free. Simple is a quiet day with time together. Simple is my wife's passion in the kitchen and the simple but restaurant-quality eating it affords. Simple is living in the moment and simple is enjoying the variety that life has to offer.

Simple is also putting God first in everything. Simple means quietly listening to Him and walking His walk, not just talking His talk. Simple is being a student of life and living to learn while learning to live. Simple is loving our grown children and their children, and letting go and letting God take the lead.

Lord, help me to keep my focus on the many simple things in life.




90 Minutes in Heaven

JANUARY 12, 2022


90 Minutes in Heaven

I watched 90 Minutes in Heaven last night. I must say that was quite a story!

I had seen previews of it long ago, but never paid it much attention until I came across it on Pureflix last night. I decided to give it a try and it was all that I had hoped for.

Based on a true story, I suppose only God could weave a tale like that one. It had everything on a scale from tough and gritty to touching and inspirational. And, it seems that while watching the story I felt as if I had experienced all of the pain and trials the lead character was going through.

Of course that's far from true when I look at all he had to go through, all of the pain he experienced, and the length of his journey in the midst of all of that. Knowing that he and his wife made a conscious decision to travel that difficult road with no guarantee of a positive outcome was sobering to say the least.

His wife, who stood by him through it all, reminded me of my wife and the amazing support and devotion I have received from her on our journey. Thank you, Lord for using this movie to remind me just how blessed I am in so many ways!




Molinism

JANUARY 09, 2022


Molinism

My family and I have walked in a Reformed Theology for quite a while. When I lived up in the Atlanta area, I used to be a regular in a men's Bible study. It was a small group of about 6-10 men on any given early Monday morning and I think we were all pretty much reformed in our theology.

There's no doubt in my mind that we all struggled with the conflict between God's sovereignty and the free will of man. Reformed theology favors the sovereignty of God, which lead to our second struggle. If the sovereignty of God wins in that proposed debate, doesn't that also suggest that God must be the author of sin since evil takes place here on earth during God's watch?

I remember attending my last Monday morning Bible study before my family and I moved to Florida. I remember mentioning to our host, PB (his initials), that I hoped we might one day discover a solution to our sovereignty of God / man's free will struggle.

Well, I confess that I haven't totally bought in yet on Molinism, but it sure goes a long way toward resolving that difficulty. I like what is being said by some of the contemporary supporters of Molinism, but I also find myself supporting the Reformed theologians and their comments critical of Molinism.

I've got a lot of study ahead of me if I am ever to make a decision on this one.




Grateful and Happy

JANUARY 05, 2022


dad
We lost dad in 2013 at the age of 84.
That's him with Noah Snow, his great-grandson.

Dad used to say that getting old is not for sissies. Still in my mid-sixties, I sure do know what he meant. I'm amazed at how many things about the human body can become so demanding here in my senior years.

I'm not really interested in getting online and sharing all of my struggles, but I am grateful for the wonderful insurance we have and I do intend to take full advantage of my doctor's expertise, if for no other reason than to do everything I can to enjoy these senior years as much as possible.

There's another saying I like that says attitude determines altitude. Boy, is that one ever true. I think Lincoln put it best when he said you're about as happy as you decide to be. As long as God gives me strength to be happy, I fully intend to stay headed in that direction.

As I've said so many times before, I'm grateful for everything God has done in my life. And, I've become convinced that remaining grateful is the key to happiness.




45th Anniversary

DECEMBER 11, 2021


Anniversary 45

If it was for no other reason, in my mind celebrating our 45th would be worth starting up the blog again. I'm so grateful for the years I have enjoyed with my soulmate and literally thank God daily for placing her in my life.

She has made such a difference in my life and I'm thankful for all I have learned from her, the time with her, and the many blessings that God has set out for us on this wonderful and amazing journey together.

Thank you my love and Happy Anniversary!


KILLER

JUNE 05, 2021



Killer

It grieves me that I can't find the picture I need. I know I have it tucked away in a safe place somewhere. I hope I will be able to dig it up and come back and insert it, but until then I'll have to go with the mystery photo, which actually reminds me of him.

It's so easy to remember things in a favorable light when the truth is something less appealing. I look back at my past. And, for the successes Patty and I have enjoyed, it would be easy to lay claim to the good choices I made. However, the truth is a bit different.

I was still in college and working at Wickes Lumber Company. I was making what looked like pretty good money back then, but at a job I really didn't much care for.

Still, the idea of marrying Patty and settling down made the job with Wickes seem much better than it really was, and I had even reached a point where I could justify leaving behind college and a degree.

We decided to share the good news with Patty's mom and step-father.

Then it happened.

Patty's step father was a very good man. To say that he had an incredibly difficult upbringing would the understatement of the century! But, what he had been through growing up helped me to give pause and listen carefully to what he had to say.

He walked over quietly to the table where Patty and I were sitting, placed a pen and sheet of paper in front of me, and challenged me to show him how I was going to make it work. His voice was stern but, because I knew him well, what he had to say rang out with love and concern and not anger.

Without really trying, he had me. He knew it and I knew it. There was no argument and no debate. Right then and there, I agreed to finish college and stay with the original plan.

Henry Kane (or 'Killer' as they called him - and I'll explain why in a moment) grew up in an orphanage. He had everything working against him, and yet by all worldly measures he was a success.

At almost six and a half feet, and with a stocky build, he had a commanding presence. With thick framed glasses and grey hair, he had a look of strength that betrayed who he really was. But the frequent and gentle smiles revealed the truth. Killer Kane was truly a tender-hearted soul and a friend to everyone!

At one point in his younger years, and because of his size, he was egged on by his friends and agreed to get in the ring with a fighter only to be knocked out with the first punch. Thus the name 'Killer.'

So, any successes I have enjoyed in life weren't born out of my ability to make great and smart choices. They were born out of the wise counsel of the Killer Kane's of the world and the risks they took to share godly wisdom with me.

Thank you, Lord for giving me ears to hear. I'll always be thankful for the many ways you used Killer Kane in my life!


AN EXPERIENCE...

JUNE 04, 2021



An Experience

"An experience is never a bad one if you learn something from it."

That's my thinking anyway. Someone famous probably said that somewhere, but I didn't see anything close attributed to anyone on Google.

The thought crossed my mind after our 750-mile round-trip visit to a property up in North Alabama. It's the same trip that I mentioned in yesterday's post.

In terms of our primary objective, the trip was a bust. But, Patty and I both agree that we learned quite a bit about ourselves and our thinking through the experience. For that reason, the trip was far from a bust.

And, based on what we learned, we're closer to our target.

Now, that's real progress!


TEN YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

MAY 30, 2021



10 Year High School Reunion

The year was 1982 and I had received an invite to my ten year high school reunion from a former classmate. To go or not to go? It was a tough decision!

Probably like many before me, my imagination ran wild with all of the possibilities of what might occur at the event. In particular, would there even be anyone attending that might interest me enough to go? Would I be comfortable with my faith in a potentially antithetical event?

I went through a litany if possibilities and finally decided that I was making this whole thing far too difficult, and that I should probably just go. My wife's ten year event would be one year later and so we both decided at that point to go to both events.

I remember sitting at a table at my reunion with three other couples. I remembered them well from high school, but hadn't really known them well. There was one other couple that we had all known well back in school, and we were all surprised that the other couple had decided not to attend.

One of the guys at the table mentioned that he had talked to them and that they had decided not to attend because most of the people they knew from our graduating class were not Christians. They feared that this might make for a difficult evening. I was thinking just how familiar that sounded.

As we went around the table I learned that all of the couples with whom we were sitting had become Christians since attending high school. And, I remember thinking how ironic it was that I might have missed out on something good based solely on what I had imagined.

Lesson learned.


THE GRANDSONS

MAY 20, 2021



The Snow family has moved to Germany and the grandsons seem to be having a great time over there. Here's just a sample of the fun...

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family

Snow family


THROUGH THE BIBLE

MAY 17, 2021



Through the Bible

In 2005, I followed one of those plans to read the entire bible in one year. I had a particular focus for my journey through the bible that year. And, in that arena in which I focused, I was quite surprised with all I discovered versus the things that I had imagined I would discover.

Sometime earlier this year, Patty and I decided to take on a less accelerated approach with a chapter a day and we decided to start in the New Testament. In fact, we've sort of streamlined our approach and will probably go back and fill in the gaps when we get to that point.

In the meantime, we started in the book of John and selected it to represent the gospels in the short-term. In other words, we read it and then moved on to Acts. From there we read Romans and are currently very early in 1 Corinthians.

We haven't made a formal plan, but I suspect we'll finish the rest of the New Testament, go back and pick up the other three gospels, and then move 'Back to the Future' with the Old Testament. That's just a guess, but we'll see how the Holy Spirit leads us.

Patty and I have both been surprised with how much the Holy Spirit has revealed to us in this particular journey through His Word. We both have commented that we feel like we're reading so much of it with new eyes and for the first time. I say new eyes in the sense that we've grown and now, years later, we're in a very different place and see much of what we're reading from a very different perspective. We are both so thankful for the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit on this journey through His Word, and on this path through life that God has set out before us.


KINDNESS

MAY 12, 2021



Kindness

A couple of days ago I was at the gym. As I was driving out of the parking lot after my workout I noticed a bumper sticker with flowers all over it on one of the other cars. The sticker also contained two simple words:

Kindness Matters

As a guy with Asperger's (and who knows what all else is in that mix) my focus on the task far too often leaves me insensitive to those around me. In fact I'm learning that there must be some OCD in there as well because I'm too often focused on being efficient when there's no real need to be. And, it often becomes a distraction to pull my focus away from the people around me.

It truly pains me to look back at what I didn't know. In fact, it really pains me to consider the season with my parents when Asperger's wasn't even on anyone's radar. What must they have thought? I wish I knew then what I know now and could go back and offer them an explanation for my odd behaviors.

The good news about being a dude with Asperger's is that I don't tend to fight anxiety and I don't tend to look back or cry over spilt milk. That's fortunate because it enables me to let go and let God...

I think dad understood because he exhibited some of the same behaviors as did his father before him. So, maybe the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, as they say.

On the other hand, my neurotypical mom must have felt completely out of place in our household. Fortunately, I can look back and see that her deep love for me stood stronger than did my oddities. And now, the wife with whom I am so blessed picks up right where my mom left off and carries love, patience, kindness, and understanding to a new and much higher level!

Thank you, Lord for showing me these things. Please help me to learn how to be more like my dear, sweet, and servant-minded wife!

SIDE NOTE:

In our bible study, Patty and I were in Romans 14 today. It's really interesting to see that God formed each of us unique to the other and that his mercy and grace meets each of us at a different place, sensitive to our uniqueness. That really is amazing when I think about it, that God recognizes the strengths and weaknesses that He put in me and that He utilizes my strengths and cares for me in my weaknesses.


PATIENCE

MAY 11, 2021



Patience

Wow! Do I ever have a story from real life for today's post!

I was going to title this post Patience & Kindness and it was my intention to write about what God's doing in my life in both of those areas. However, God moved in a (technical? and humorous!) way to point out that each topic deserved its own post. So, I'm saving Kindness for tomorrow and opening with Patience today.

Both topics also sit on God's fruit of the spirit list, which consists of nine important things including Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. I could use a lot of work in all of those areas, but I'll start with the two that I tend to believe are in need of the most attention.

I should also mention that my NIV bible lists forbearance in the place of Patience. Personally, I prefer Patience because I think it better distinguishes itself from Self Control, which is also on the list.

Yesterday I had one of those real life experiences. If I could rewind the tape, I would have responded very differently. As I rounded a bend in the road, I pulled up on a police car with flashing blue lights and a wrecker. Both appeared to be stopped so I pulled on around using the left lane. What I did not know was that they were finished and were both pulling out to depart that location. So here I am, still in the left (wrong) lane, with both of them picking up speed over in the right (correct) lane.

What was my hurry? In retrospect, I wish I had stopped and waited. I wish I had show a little patience. What would it have hurt for me to wait? In the way that only a person with Asperger's could and would do it, I decided to be more efficient and get on around so I didn't have to wait. I could have easily caused an accident with my attempt to avoid a perceived inconvenience that in reality would have been no inconvenience at all other than a few minutes of my time.

Lord, help me every moment of every day to discover opportunities to be more patient, and to exercise those opportunities. Help me become more aware of my surroundings and remind me that there are real people in each scenario that could be helped by my patience or hindered (and possibly hurt!) by my impatience.

Lord, please remind me that it's not about me but it's about the witness to others that my patience might provide! Lord, let me demonstrate that I care about those other individuals, even if and when they might not be concerned about me.


HOME RUN

APRIL 28, 2021



Home Run

Last night I watched Home Run, a faith-based movie that really touched me on a number of levels. I was very impressed with the vision for this film and the willingness of a community of Christians to take on such a difficult, risky, and gritty ministry topic as Recovery.

In years past, it's been my view that the failure of faith-based movies has centered around three problems. Those movies were full of naive ideas, clichés, and stereotypes.

Naive
1. Showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.
2. Natural and unaffected; innocent.
3. Of or denoting art produced in a straightforward style
that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques
and has a bold directness resembling a child's work,
typically in bright colors with little or no perspective.

Cliché
1. A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack
of original thought.
2. A stereotype.

Stereotype
1. A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or
idea of a particular type of person or thing.

However, there's a catch! To be what we are called to be as Christians (e.g. child-like, innocent, etc.) we have to be willing to deal with these three obstacles in life as well as in a film that we might be producing or just simply watching.

Take the word naive for example. In one sense, naive suggests a person who is honestly unaware because they are, perhaps, immature. But, in a Christian sense it's quite possible that the appearance of being naive may be quite intentional and a reflection of anything but immaturity. It may be the result of an intentional, mature, and experienced-backed faith-based decision to follow Jesus Christ.

As I seek to follow Christ and remain innocent and child-like, there is always a false level of sophistication that wants to make me a cynic toward everything and everyone around me, especially toward Christ and the Christian faith!

I've seen it over and over in my own life. Will my faith lead me to give God total control when that cynic is telling me I don't need any help taking care of a problem? I've discovered that the more I listen to that cynic, the more he winds up doing all of the talking and the easier it is to follow his guidance.

Lord, help me turn a deaf ear to that cynic.

May I find the strength to always trust in your plan!


IN, BUT NOT OF...

APRIL 12, 2021



World

I love this quote:

The world will ask you who you are and if you do not know, the world will tell you.

When we spend all day, every day, living in a world that is constantly seeking to influence our behavior and define our culture, it's amazing that any of us are able to avoid those influences and hold fast to the knowledge and wisdom that only comes from God.

Lord, help me to keep your word close to my heart.

John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


GABE SNOW

APRIL 09, 2021



Gabe Snow

Today, I want to write my blog entry about Gabe Snow. Gabe is Mr. Athletic from all I can see and will be playing in the upcoming soccer season. Not only is Gabe a skilled soccer player, but he has a real love for the game. His passion for the sport is bound to help him take his teams to the championship round!

Back at home, Gabe is Mr. Handy-Dandy in the Kitchen. Just like the trendy guys who are making amazing dishes in their kitchens, Gabe seems destined to have a similar opportunity if he decides to go in that direction. He seems to have a real passion for assisting in his mom's kitchen and seems to have already acquired the necessary skills to make a real difference with any dish.

Gabe has a great personality and loves to laugh. He also likes to tell everyone about the latest excitement in his life and loves to tell, and laugh at, a good joke! With that in mind, I just couldn't resist sharing a joke here on the Gabe Snow web page in honor of his ever-present wit and charm.

Why do elephants paint their toenails different colors?

I don't know - why do elephants paint their toenails different colors?

So they can hide in the box of crayons!

Haven't you ever seen an elephant hiding in a crayon box?

No, I haven't.

I guess they're pretty good at it!


NOAH SNOW

APRIL 08, 2021



Noah Snow

The picture above was taken about seven years ago when Patty and I lived at the townhome in Pensacola, Florida on Perdido Bay and hosted our daughter, Allie; our son-in-law, Josh; our oldest grandson, Noah; and the younger grandson, Gabe.

Noah and I decided to grab the little blue kayak and go for a ride in the bay, and Allie captured this great picture of our adventure. What a fun time that was, and what a great memory it still is!

And now, years later, Patty and I live on Live Oak Island, Florida and Noah and the rest of the Snow family are on another exciting adventure on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. They've moved to Stuttgart, Germany and are learning all about life and culture in the southern part of Germany.

Noah, is a bright guy and is quickly becoming an expert in the world of technology. He and I have swapped a lot of emails and he told me he has set a goal to learn to type fast, and that he wants to become a video game developer.

He likes different video games and is quickly becoming an expert at Minecraft. Whenever I have a question, all I have to do is ask Noah and he always takes good care of me with the right answer. Recently, he rescued me out of a Minecraft pond where I got stuck.

Noah has a cool computer lab set up in his bedroom and uses a ceiling mounted projector to project his computer screen up on the wall. Leave it up to Noah to figure out how to do something cool like that. I can't wait to see everything that he accomplishes in the world of technology and in the years to come as he gets older.

Way to go, Noah!

Tomorrow, I'm going to be blogging about our other grandson, Gabe!

See you then!


HE IS RISEN

APRIL 04, 2021



He Is Risen

FROM JOHN TO ACTS

MARCH 29, 2021



From John to Acts

Patty and I started a morning bible study about 4 weeks ago. After just over a week, we decided to move to the book of John and take a chapter a day. Even with different versions of the bible, I usually read the first half aloud and Patty takes the second half and does the same.

Today is our last day in the book of John. God's timing couldn't have been better with us reading about the crucifixion of Jesus and that story serving as a lead-in to Easter this coming Sunday. Tomorrow we move to the book of Acts. It seems like a natural follow-up to the book of John.

I've been pleasantly surprised at how alive the scriptures have been with both of us reading aloud. I don't think we've done this before, and I've truly sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit in our reading.

In fact, it was quite special to read about the introduction of the Holy Spirit here in the book of John, not to mention the depth and breadth of the story of Jesus and his disciples. Today, we went through the introduction to Acts from my study bible and will pick up with chapter 1 tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.


SAYING GOODBYE

MARCH 23, 2021



Saying Goodbye

Two days ago our son arrived, and today he is headed back to the place that he and Amy call home. Our wonderful time with him came to an end far too quickly. Still, we squeezed in all the food, fellowship, laughter, and love that could have possibly been enjoyed in such a short time.

And now we say goodbye until next time. As usual, Patty and I stand by his car, do our group hug, and share time before God in prayer for safe travel, and Jonathan's safe arrival back home to his lovely bride.

As spring and summer arrive, we know it won't be long before Jonathan will be back to see us, next time with our amazing daughter-in-law, and to all enjoy this incredible piece of paradise that Patty and I call home.

Thank you, Lord for such a wonderful opportunity to share life and love with family!


QUALITY TIME

MARCH 22, 2021



Quality Time

We're so blessed to have kids, in-laws, and grandsons, where time together is always quality time. And with our son it's never any different. He arrived yesterday and by the time he leaves tomorrow it will be too soon. It would be too soon if he left after a week or even a month. But, it's good to share quality time with him while he is here.

It was so neat to have him join us on our daily three mile walk today. It was such a joy to share time with him and to have him experience the joys that we experience every day on a walk together in this beautiful countryside with which we are blessed.

A visit from Jonathan is sure to include a full slate of late nights. It's like we don't want to miss a moment together. Sharing around important topics like life, love, and family are sure to take us to deep places. Still we always manage to pick up right where we left off the last time we were together.

Lord, thank you for the blessing of Quality Time!


DO YOU BELIEVE?

MARCH 21, 2021



Do You Believe

A couple of days ago I wrote about faith based films, and how much I've grown to love good stories in that genre. When I find a movie that seems to have the potential to combine encouragement with inspiration, and that might actually touch me in a potentially positive and life-altering way, I'm willing to go all in!

Yesterday, I watched just such a movie. If it isn't deserving of an award, I would at the very least provide it with an honorable mention.

Now, I'm the first to admit that when I watch the trailer of a faith based film, anything that hints of a cliché makes me a bit nervous. Do I really want to invest my valuable time in watching the movie? On the other hand, is there enough in the trailer to persuade me of a story with real depth? If so, then I'm ready and willing to take the risk and will dive in on it.

Such was the case with Do You Believe? It turned out to be a faith based film that was well worth the risk and provided me with two hours of time well spent!

I hope to find many more faith based films like it!


COMPANY'S COMING

MARCH 20, 2021



Company's Coming

Every day I wake up with my soul-mate and consider it a blessing to enjoy yet one more day here in the heart of paradise. That God delivered to us this impossible dream is just one more example of His goodness, grace, and mercy in our lives.

Add to that the wonder of a visit from any of our kids and I'm filled with an overwhelming sense of awe. It's simply impossible for me to comprehend God's power and majesty in providing Patty and I this deep and lasting relationship with our family.

We're so looking forward to a visit for a couple of days from our son. Amy's super busy with her new job so he's going to come down for a short visit and the three of us will all enjoy some great food and fellowship. In addition to the hot mess dip, we're sure to feast on some crab stuffed, bacon wrapped, shrimp. Yum!

Thank you, Lord for the amazing blessing of family and all that it entails!


FAITH BASED FILMS

MARCH 19, 2021



Faith Based Films

I love faith based films, but for a lot more reasons than one might expect. Certainly that they are faith based leads the list, but there are so many other things that attract me to this genre.

It's been amazing to watch these films literally take off in terms of the quality involved. Not only are we seeing larger and larger budgets with better and better production values, cast, and crew, but the stories run deeper than ever before.

Often based on true stories (a personal favorite of mine) writers deliver heart-felt themes like never before and are no longer afraid to approach difficult questions and controversial topics. What was once a genre full of clichés has led to an arena filled with cast and crew members more able and equipped than ever before to reach out to both believer and non-believer alike.

Whether I'm searching for wholesome entertainment, thought-provoking story lines, or a combination of the two, there is much to be found out there these days in this up-and-coming reality-driven trend.


MORE GOD STUFF

MARCH 07, 2021



More God Stuff

I'm honestly amazed at all that God is doing in Patty and me. Our morning Bible study has brought with it all sorts of tie-ins to real life. The comments we share and the spiritual questions we ask ourselves are always great lead-ins to real life issues and the honest day-to-day, all about life, questions we have.

And from the answers come extra stimulation to do a better job with the things which we might consider our required daily routines - everything from taking better care of ourselves to taking better care of our home and all of the things with which we have been so blessed.

We also have agreed that we want to get back to a prayer time before we go to bed at night. For me, that is mostly born out of a grateful heart and my need to express my gratefulness to the Lord, at the end of the day, for all He has done and is doing in our lives.

Each year, Patty selects a new word upon which to focus in her prayer life and in her day-to-day activities. I've tried to join her in that leading, but for several years now I haven't been able to get beyond the concept of gratefulness and the significant way in which that concept has changed, and continues to change, my life for the better.

We both agree that that we really like all that God is doing in us and the way He has brought about a more concentrated focus upon Him in our lives. I remember, when I used to still be in the work-world, that I was looking forward to the free time retirement would provide, in order to give more of myself and my time back to God. Well, now that I'm here, in this wonderful world of retirement, I'm so grateful that God has encouraged and enabled me to stay true to that desire of my heart.


ANOTHER BUSY DAY

MARCH 06, 2021



Another Busy Day

The combination of temps still in the 50's and strong gusty winds is not going to make for a good walking day. Looks like we're going to take this one off. We were also supposed to have rain mixed in with this, but the weather prognosticators are backing off of that one.

With all of the wind, I'm still not ready to pull out the paint brushes and rollers. We're supposed to have some very good days next week and I'm planning to get back to my painting project with the arrival of better weather.

For our bible study we decided to choose a book and do one chapter a day. I read the first half out loud and Patty reads aloud the second half. If there's anything that seems of significant importance from my study bible, I share that as well. Finally, we share with each other anything that the Holy Spirit has prompted within us about what we've read to each other.

We started our study yesterday in Proverbs and went through Chapter 2 today. The study seems vey alive to me, and I believe we both agree that it's been a great experience so far. I'm truly looking forward to all that is yet to come.

I'm also going through The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and we both talked a little about that as well today. I've only made it through 4 chapters of a 33 chapter book so there's plenty left to read and consider.

We also decided to revamp our diet and menu yet again. There's a lot going on in that arena and I'll spare the details here, but suffice to say I'm very encouraged with the steps we are taking and the changes that should result, both in our health and our weight maintenance.

Last but not least, we're taking steps to start with a new doctor since our former doctor has moved to a practice closer to her family. Claire was a great doctor and we will truly miss her, but our new doctor was looking after Patty's mom and so we are quite familiar with her and feel very good about the change.

Oh yeah, one other thing. Since we're fully vaccinated now for Covid-19, Patty is already on the schedule for an eye appointment and I'm going to schedule a hearing test. I'm not looking forward to the prospects of dealing with my apparent hearing loss, but playing and teaching in loud school bands, playing in rock bands, and listening to loud music, have all taken a toll on my hearing. I guess it's time.


THIS IS WHAT WE DO

FEBRUARY 25, 2021



This is What We Do

I was recently watching a faith based movie when a particular line of dialog captured my attention and got me to thinking. In fact, as I considered that line, it had such an impact on me that I began to imagine how fitting it might have been in serving as the title of the movie.

The whole thing kind of reminded me of the Parable of the Rich Young Ruler. A guy is serving time by doing community service at a local church and approaches everything with the aim of serving his own selfish interests. When the folks at the church need him most, a better offer comes along and he bails out on them with no concern for the trouble he has caused by his untimely departure.

Then, when God reveals to him the wrong he has done and changes his heart, he comes back humbly and broken and seeks forgiveness. Instead of the typical cautious reception that would have certainly been justified, the church members almost immediately welcome him back in with open arms and no questions asked.

Not having been a Christian, he understand neither how nor why they were so quick and able to forgive him. I can't help but think that the Rich Young Ruler must have had a very similar experience when his father approached him. So, I'm back in? he asks. The response was, This is what we do.

I've experienced that kind of love and forgiveness and it's absolutely amazing when it happens. It will catch you by surprise and even take your breath away.

It's called GRACE.

It's amazing when God provides it, but there's also something really special that happens when Christians extend that grace to someone else, whether or not that person might be a follower of Christ. As Christians, we can afford to offer our love and forgiveness, even to those who have hurt us, because when we were not worthy of it, Christ first loved and forgave each of us.

Serving others? Turning the other cheek? Forgiving the unforgiveable? Extending kindness to the unkind? Extending patience to the impatient? Placing ourselves at risk of being taken advantage of? Trusting God and waiting on Him? Doing what seems silly and mindless to the world?

This is what we do.


WORTH SHARING!

FEBRUARY 24, 2021



Santa 1

This is a long story, but it's a worthy story!

Back in the mid-1980's I lived with Patty and the kids in Savannah, GA and had the privilege, honor, and especially the joy of an incredible friendship with an amazing brother in Christ, Rick Monroe.

Rick and I met doing lay witness mission trips together with our dear brother in Christ, Joe Strickland. We also spent Saturday mornings together over coffee sharing our hearts in pursuit of a deeper walk with Christ our Lord.

In fact, Allie joined Patty and I on a few mission trips and worked with Rick's youth team. And when it came time for Allie and Josh to marry, I suggested that Rick might be the guy to officiate at the ceremony. Rick had to get approved and certified in order to perform that task and, just like Rick, he did so just for this special occasion.

Do a fast rewind back to Christmas morning at the DeLoach house in Savannah in the mid-1980's and Santa (Rick) notifies me that he and his elves will soon be dropping by with the sleigh to visit our kids. His elves (two young ladies from Rick's young life organization) gave up their Christmas morning to travel with Rick and fulfill the Christmas dreams of young children all over Savannah!

Santa 1

When Santa and his elves arrived, we captured the event on video (which is long gone) and in pictures (two of which survived.) Those pictures were recently electronically scanned and saved for posterity by our daughter, who now has two children of her own, but had twinkles in her eyes back then when Santa arrived with his elves.

Rick and I still write and talk from time to time, and I felt sure he would want to see those old photographs, so I sent them his way in the following email.


Hey Rick,

Allie has been scanning literally hundreds and hundreds of old pictures and I thought you might enjoy these. We sure have!

Thanks again for the great experience and wonderful memories! And if you still keep up with these ladies please send our love and feel free to share the pictures!

Much Love,

Hutch


I wasn't prepared for the heart-breaking news in Rick's response.


Hutch:

Thanks for the pictures! Sunday was the first anniversary of the day the Lord called Elizabeth home after a valiant 4 year bout with cancer. (She is the blonde in the photo) The attached Word Doc will explain it. (A Facebook post on a Young Life Alumni page)

Judy and I had the honor of spending time with Mike this past Sunday. He came here because Elizabeth is buried here. He left today to return home.

He lives in San Diego with Elizabeth’s two kids and his…..a Brady Bunch….all within 2 years of age. (High school)

I have sent the photos to him. He has no photographical record of Elizabeth as an “Elf”. Now he does.

Thank you for providing good medicine for a hurting heart. But…that’s just you.

Great to hear from you. I look forward to heaven when miles and years no longer separate.

Rick


Here's the Facebook post that Rick mentioned.


When you get older you tend to take inventory on what you have done in your life…..and what you have not done.

I never won a championship….at anything. In high school I had no idea that there was a National Honors Society. I was never a best man in a wedding. Marrying late, I have never contributed to the gene pool….I will never walk a daughter down the aisle….and I never had the awesome privilege of witnessing the miracle of childbirth.

But…. I would not trade anything for God’s gift of witnessing the miracle of someone being born again. I had that privilege numerous times during my time as a YL leader.

One of those someones was Elizabeth Emmons.

Today, those who loved her most said goodbye at her funeral. Her earthly life ended when she was promoted to Heaven. God answered our prayers for healing in His way rather than ours.

It was a sad day…but there was joy. Sadness and joy coexisting sounds like an oxymoron. But it’s possible, because the Promise Maker is the promise keeper.

I had the privilege of introducing Elizabeth to her Savior when she was in high school. From there I had the honor of being able to watch her grow in her faith from a high school kid who was a new Christian into a vibrant, contagious powerful woman of God.

Elizabeth’s relationship with Jesus morphed from Savior to Lord….from believing in Jesus to believing Jesus. Her hope became assurance, elevating her “hope so” to “know so”.

On Friday, Feb. 21 the internal became eternal….the heart into which Elizabeth invited Jesus to make His home was brought to a new home He had prepared for her.

During her funeral today my mind wandered and wondered…..if one day Elizabeth will return the favor and introduce me to our Savior she now sees…not just by faith, but by sight.

God gave Elizabeth a gift in her husband, Mike. When we witnessed them at the marriage altar and he vowed “…in sickness and in health….” he had no idea what he was promising. But….Mike lived his vows faithfully. He was God’s provision for her….an answer to prayer that was every bit God’s “very present help” in time of need. Elizabeth’s vibrant faith throughout her illness, combined with Mikes bold walk of faith alongside her has preached sermons without words that have changed trajectories and eternities that we’ll never be able to count this side of Heaven.

It’s an amazing love story: early one Friday morning Elizabeth left the arms that loved her unconditionally and landed in the arms that love her infinitely.

I heard someone say “We’ve lost Elizabeth.” I understand that…but in reality Elizabeth has not been lost since that day she asked Him to come into her heart.

And today, I know exactly where she is….

….because the Promise Maker is the promise keeper.


GOD STUFF

FEBRUARY 22, 2021



God Stuff

facet: one side of something many-sided, especially of a cut gem.

If my studies of Christ have taught me anything, it's that He is a savior with countless facets. I'm sure it's been said before, but the study of Christ and His many facets could easily take a lifetime with a result of only barely scratching the surface of all there is to know, not to mention all that we will never know.

In my walk with Christ, I've come to understand two things: I need to know what I believe and, equally or more importantly, I need to know why I believe. The 'what' without the 'why' is like saying, I believe because somebody told me.

Most Christians with whom I'm familiar, and myself included, have had a real God experience via the Holy Spirit. I'm not talking about the types of day-to-day experiences we have with God such as an answered prayer, rather I'm talking about the powerful kind of God moment that brings us to that level of faith that is required of us to see what we cannot see, hear what we cannot hear, and do what we otherwise would not be able to do.


AMAZING FRIENDS

FEBRUARY 16, 2021



Amazing Friends

In 2011 the company I was working for (Netezza) was acquired by IBM and in 2012 IBM sent me to Bangalore, India to teach a Netezza class to a large group made up of IBM customers, IBM partners, and IBM'ers. It was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget.

What an honor it was to work with such kind and hard-working people. I don't think I've ever had a more incredible classroom experience or felt more touched by a group of students than I was by this wonderful and amazing group!

We had a limited number of workstations in the class and had to put three people to each workstation. In any other situation that might have been a problem, but these people worked so well together that it was just never an issue - even when seated with people they didn't know.

Bangalore is a city of approximately 8.5 million people and the ride to and from class each day was an amazing and educational experience in its own right. Still, it was the warm and caring people behind all of these smiling faces that ultimately won me over.

I will always be grateful for the many friends I made on that trip! After five days together in the classroom, I fear I learned much more from them than they did from me.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

FEBRUARY 14, 2021



Happy Valentine's Day

The happiest day in my life was the day I found my soulmate (and every day since!)

Happy Valentine's Day My Love!


CHOOSING TO SEE

FEBRUARY 10, 2021



Choosing to See

Have you ever taken the time to consider the difference between the ideas of being child-like and being childish? Matthew 18:3 calls us to the former while 1 Corinthians 13:11 calls us away from the latter.

I fear, over the process of many years, that I have allowed myself to be trained by the world to see being child-like as a flaw in the life of a mature individual. While accepting this idea may feel like it protects me from the evils of the world, all it really does is make a statement that I don't trust God.

I fear more importantly that there are real consequences to rejecting that passage in Matthew 18. I fear that it shields me from the ability to see, hear, believe, and receive all of the wonderful lessons and blessings that Jesus Christ has for me in this incredible life with which I have been gifted.

I want to continue to be child-like in my faith. I'm choosing God's view over the world's view. I'm choosing to see, hear, believe and receive all that God has for me. I'm choosing to be in the world without becoming of it. I'm choosing to be wise as a serpent while remaining innocent as a dove. I'm choosing to remain child-like as I'm putting away childish things.

I like the way Arthur Mendelson said it in the movie Patch Adams.

See what no one else sees.
See what everyone chooses not to see...
out of fear, conformity or laziness.
See the whole world anew each day!

I'm choosing to see!


GOD IS WORKING

FEBRUARY 09, 2021



A God Moment

Among Christians, Romans 8:28 tends to provide a foundation for our lives like few other passages. It says:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Some of us like to call them, God Moments. They are those special moments where we see God working out a plan and in a way that we could have never imagined. For many of us, God moments can be found not only in Life's most significant events, but also in those simple and quiet moments that barely show up on our radar - until we see God working.

In either case, my experience with God moments is that they very often turn out to be ah-ha! moments. That's because I'm unable to find an answer to my question until God draws open the curtain and presents me with that which He has already done for me.

Such was the case yesterday.

In recent posts I've described my quandary over the shift from weight-loss to weight-maintenance. It doesn't seem logical, but the former actually seemed easier than the latter, probably because I've never really been at a point in my life where I reached the latter.

Anyway, I'm a record keeper. And, in the same way that I've kept a running log to measure my success, I've also kept a log to track my weight-loss progress. But, watching the results in that log, when I made the shift to weight-maintenance, was a bit depressing. I felt trapped in an up one day, down the next cycle and I really had no idea how to deal with it. I had even shared my frustration with Patty at that time.

Cue the God moment.

On the same morning that God brought an answer, I discovered that Patty had been praying for me. I didn't know that she was praying and she didn't know that her prayer was being answered as she offered it.

It came to my attention that I could make changes to my log to show a favorable result as long as I kept my weight in a predefined range. Up one day and down the next no longer mattered, as long as the ups and downs kept me in that range.

Thank you, God - for those You Moments!


PROMISE LAND

FEBRUARY 05, 2021



Promise Land

When we moved Martha in with us, we rented a storage facility to store all of her belongings that she would not need in our home, both big and small. The facility is only about 6 miles away and the folks there have been very supportive.

When getting our house set back up after Martha's passing, we were able to squeeze everything into storage except her beloved recliner. We advertised it as a free give-away with a picture on our Next Door app and within only a few short hours it was picked up by some nice folks who live just a few short miles away.

We had planned to offer everything else in storage to the local Habitat for Humanity but they didn't provide a pick up service and we had no cost effective manner for getting everything to them. By the time I had discovered that the Habitat for Humanity in Tallahassee did have a pick-up service, my wife was reminding me of the local ministry called Promise Land who also just happens to take care of the common area landscaping for our humble HOA. They have a pick-up service so I called them last week for a pick-up appointment.

We were scheduled for today but rain was in the forecast so they called yesterday and asked if they could meet us to take care of the mattresses and any other items that would not do well in the rain. We met yesterday and handed off what we could and set up a 7:45 am appointment for this morning so they could get everything else - hopefully before the rain moved in.

Today's weather has been very cooperative and the good folks at Promise Land made the pickup as scheduled and as promised. JJ and his team were awesome and I hope to have an opportunity to work with them again real soon!


MARTHA

FEBRUARY 04, 2021



Martha
When we all lived in Pensacola, Patty and I took Martha over to Foley, Alabama to enjoy a home cooked meal at Lambert's Cafe.

We lost Martha a month ago, on January 2, 2021. Today would have been her 91st birthday and I thought it might be nice to take a moment to remember her here on the blog.

Like so many parents, Martha wanted to stay close to her only child and so we helped to get her moved up from Albany, Georgia, where we had all lived for so many years, to Douglasville, Georgia where Patty and I spent 25 years and raised our two kids.

When Patty and I decided to make our big move to Florida, we took Martha with us and once again helped her find a nice place to live and to call her own. Fast forward to October 2019 and with Martha's declining health, we decided to move her in with us.

Only the Lord could have designed such an awesome master plan to provide Patty and I with over a year of time together with Martha before He called her home. I will always be grateful to God for the way He worked things together for good in a plan that neither Patty nor I could have designed or even imagined.

Rest in peace, Martha.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

JANUARY 30, 2021



Happy Birthday!

SEASONS

JANUARY 06, 2021



Seasons

Seasons come in all shapes and sizes. There are seasons of the year, seasons for sports, seasons for hunting, and down here on the coast we even have seasons for hurricanes.

There are also the seasons in our lives that God gives us. There are seasons of waiting, seasons of struggle, seasons of service, seasons of joy, seasons of mourning, and the list goes on and on and on.

With the passing of Patty's mom, we have just closed a busy season of service in caring for her in our home, and I'm doing my best now to support Patty in her season of mourning for the loss of her mom.

Out on the horizon, I can see an approaching season of joy for Patty and I as we turn our focus back toward each other. I'm trusting there will be rich years ahead of us as we dive deeper into our relationship with each other and as we engage in and enjoy the seasons ahead with our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren.

Lord, thank you for your seasons!


COUNTLESS MIRACLES

JANUARY 04, 2021



Countless Miracles

I need to share a bit of the backstory here to sort of set the scene. God's been working on me for some time now and it's been a rather unusual experience, unlike anything I've ever experienced before.

I attended Sunday School and Church at various points while growing up and even had experiences that were clearly God-ordained and anointed in the sense of a picture of the things still to come in my life.

Finally, in 1973 and at the age of 18, I gave my Life to Jesus Christ. And for some years thereafter, I was the epitome of the Proverbs 19:2 Christian. I had the zeal, but I didn't have the knowledge to support the things to which I was committing and to make sense of it all. I observed the wonderful benefits and blessings that so many seemed to enjoy, but I had no idea that a commitment was required and that there might be an associated system of beliefs that was involved.

Sometime in the very early 1980's I made some changes and took on a more academic approach to Christianity and my relationship to Jesus Christ. It was a big step in the right direction. Becoming grounded in the Word of God became instrumental to my walk with God. But in recent decades, and even in recent years, I've still struggled.

What I discovered was that an academic approach will only carry someone so far. At the end of the day, there is still a faith element involved. And the Christian walk can become very dangerous if we believe academics has provided us with all of the answers as I once did. It won't and it can't because there is always going to be that looming element of faith that is required while we walk with God here on earth.

And with that, I realized that academics without faith was cheating me out of the real power found in a deep and abiding personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It was cheating me out of the ability to join Christ where He is working as Henry Blackaby suggests, and to witness the countless miracles He was performing right before my eyes and on a daily basis.

In Martha's struggle and in her passing, I saw the countless miracles God was performing, just like those mentioned in the Book of Job. I saw God answer our prayer and stop the rain (2 times!) so we could travel safely on our 40 mile journey each way between our home and the Big Bend Hospice.

I saw God answer Patty's and my prayers to remove the burdens and worries that plagued Martha with fear about the prospects of dying alone and uncared for.

I saw God's concern for Patty's burden in caring for her mom and His attention to releasing her from that burden.

I saw nurses, doctors, medical staff, hospice staff, EMT's, volunteers, and even funeral home staff care for us in a manner as if they felt called by God to do so. Perhaps they were, but either way, many miracles were involved!

Before I became a Christian, I was one of many who saw other Christians and said, I Want What They Have! And, with the passing of Martha, I witnessed so many who reached out to us, loved us, and who cared for us while we were on this portion of our journey. It is for them that I say:

Lord, I Want What They Have! I want to be more like them! Help me Lord to notice the hurting during my day and to reach out to them. Help me Lord to care for them like these people cared for me and like you care for me.


THE CALL

JANUARY 02, 2021



Pic

Patty and I had only been in bed for four hours when he phone rang. I woke slowly while realizing Patty had accidentally hung up the phone while attempting to answer the call, and was trying to call back.

We both knew what the call was about and I reached over and put my hand on her shoulder as she returned the call. After a short phone call we were up and getting dressed to return to the hospice.

Patty's mom had passed at 2:05 AM and we were praying for a break in the heavy rains as we prepared to head down the stairs to the car and travel back to the hospice. We did get the break in the weather for which we had prayed, and arrived back to the hospice around 3:15 AM.

We spent time with Patty's mom and provided the staff with the requested information and then made our way back home. By then, as one can imagine, we were fully awake and considering the monumental number of tasks that lay ahead.

In our efforts to plan ahead and be as organized as possible, Patty and I had already composed several to-do lists and were starting the tedious and tiresome job of packing Martha's stuff and notifying all of the appropriate individuals and organizations. We knew we had a season in front of us filled with to-do's and were preparing mentally and emotionally for the days ahead.


HOSPICE CARE

JANUARY 01, 2021



Hospice Care

The New Year arrived without fanfare and I made my way to the hospital to be with Patty as she awaited the discharge orders from the hospital and the transfer order over to the Big Bend Hospice there in Tallahassee and just a short drive down the street.

We found out it was a very busy day and that our transfer was scheduled for some time after lunch. Patty and I knew that could be anytime on into the late afternoon and waited patiently. We were notified that the transfer had been finally scheduled for 5:30 PM and anxiously awaited the move.

5:30 PM came and went and due to a series of snags it was 8:30 when we pulled out to travel over to the hospice. The rain had been pouring down and continued to do so as we drove over.

We finally located the correct building and made our way inside to see Martha. We waited while they bathed her and decided to get a coke and some crackers while we waited, since we had missed supper while on standby for the transfer. When they invited us back, I must say that they had done a wonderful job of preparing Martha for our visit. I remarked to Patty that her mom looked like a china doll in the beautiful setting and with the light that was being cast down from the ceiling.

After the bath, Martha seemed to have settled in pretty well and didn't seem to be breathing as hard either. Despite the pouring rain and the 40 mile drive each way Patty and I decided this might be our best opportunity to drive home and catch a shower and a cat nap before getting up early to return to the hospice.

We got home, showered, and were in the bed by 10:15 PM.


THE STROKE - PART 2

DECEMBER 31, 2020



Stroke Part 2

The doctors ran a number of tests on Martha over the period of a very long day. Patty remained at the hospital with her mom, and I stayed home to clean up in preparation for the return home of Patty and her mom.

The news was not good. Patty's mom had experienced a massive stroke and it must have occurred much earlier in the evening before we woke her up. As a result, the doctors informed Patty that it was too late to take any kind of proactive or preventative action against what had happened to her brain.

The doctor shared with Patty the image of the brain scan and indicated that it told the entire story of the severity of the stroke. She shared the image with me at a later time.

Patty remained with her mom for the rest of the day and the night, but by this time it was clear that Martha would not recover from her stroke. As such, we made preparations for Martha to be transferred to hospice care on New Year's Day.


THE STROKE - PART 1

DECEMBER 30, 2020



Stroke Part 1

There's an old saying that says, if you want to see God laugh, just tell him your plans. Well, we know better than to tell him our plans, but we sure weren't expecting what laid ahead for us today either.

We moved Patty's mom (Martha) in with us in October of 2019 due to her failing health. To be honest, we moved her in after a hospital visit that was followed up by several weeks of rehabilitation. At the time, things didn't look so good for her short or long-term prognosis which is why we went ahead and chose to move her in. Very shortly thereafter, she improved dramatically and I feared we may have jumped the gun moving her in with us.

For the past year Martha has had great days, good days, and days that weren't so good. Still, we were all thinking pretty seriously about finding a place for her where she could enjoy more independence. That's until today!

Martha's been enjoying sleeping in more lately (even as late as 11:00 am) but when it got to be around 11:18 today, we started talking about lunch and decided it might be time to wake her. We were able to get her to open her eyes, but she was still relatively unresponsive and in short order we realized she had experienced a stroke.

We called 911 and they sent an ambulance and we followed it to the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) where we both stayed and where Patty wound up spending the night.


THE DAY AFTER

DECEMBER 26, 2020



The Day After

Just when we thought Christmas was over, our mail lady showed up with another Christmas package. It was a box lovingly filled with Christmas presents for Patty's mom, Patty, and for me.

Each item was wrapped with extra love and care, as only our daughter Allie could have envisioned them, and each and every item also included a post card with notes from Allie telling us more about what it was and where it was from.

Allie, Josh, and the two grandsons have been in Germany for over a year now. It's been so neat to hear about their adventures and see the pictures from their exciting trips. What a neat way to share in their joy and excitement.

Beyond all of that, it's truly been special to be so kindly blessed on Christmas with some of the knick knacks, historical keepsakes, and food and drink related items that they collected and set aside for us on those fun-filled adventures.

As if all of that wasn't interesting enough, I even found myself reviewing some of the culture in the German newspaper used to protect one of my fragile gifts. Patty and I can't wait to get beyond the pandemic and visit them over in the place they now call home.


MERRY CHRISTMAS

DECEMBER 25, 2020



Merry Christmas

CHRISTMAS EVE

DECEMBER 24, 2020



Christmas Eve

The picture above is what I imagine when I think of Christmas Eve. Even though it's a picture of yesteryears long past, the charm and even the romance are indicative of the visions that dance in my head.

Unfortunately, the picture below more clearly depicts the reality of our current Christmas Eve Day and the Christmas Eve to follow. It's highly unusual to see white-caps out on the gulf where we live, but that's just what we're seeing with these gale warnings that were introduced last night and predicted to hang around from 7AM this morning until 7AM Christmas day.

We just finished lashing down garbage bags and bed sheets over the pots and plants outside and are hoping both plants and covers survive the high winds that have already arrived and are predicted to remain as the subfreezing temperatures fall in behind later this evening.

White Caps

THE REST OF THE STORY

DECEMBER 17, 2020



Rest of the Story2

We lost Paul Harvey in 2009 at the ripe old age of 91, but his radio show entitled The Rest of the Story lives on, at least in my mind anyway. There was always a surprise at the end and it was always a strong take-away!

Well, back on December 10th I shared a post entitled Yikes! and am now able to share The Rest of the Story. If you read the post you know I had a busy evening. If you didn't, here's the complete story.

My 91 year old mother-in-law was in the hospital and my wife had been spending the days with her, mostly to get a first-hand report from the doctors after their daily evaluations. I was on the way to pick her up on the evening of Wednesday, December 9, when the excitement started.

I was driving east on highway 98, a two lane blacktop, and in heavy fog. I was not far from the Wakulla river when I saw what I thought might be the shadow of a black bear that was being back-lit from the cars approaching in the other direction. I watched as best I could, with the fog and the lights behind him, util he crossed the road and headed down the shoulder toward the woods.

When I looked back to the road it was too late. I was still driving near the speed limit and only a few feet from several young wild hogs which emerged from the fog and which took a direct hit from my car and rolled beneath me as I passed over them.

In a matter of seconds I considered my situation and decided to press on. After all, I was out in the middle of nowhere, on a pitch-black dark night with what was by now less likely a bear and more likely a wild momma hog coming back to check up on her younger youth. I talked myself out of that confrontation as I began to fear for what had happened to our car.

Sure enough, within a mile or two I received a check coolant warning followed in the next mile or two with an engine overheating warning. I was less than a mile or two from a well lit gas station and barely made the turn in before the car turned off, bells started ringing, and additional warning messages began to appear - mostly related to an overheating engine.

My first thought was to call my wife, share my situation, and encourage her to get comfortable until I arrived. She offered to spend the night at the hospital with her mom, but I knew it had already been a long day for her and assured her I would be there to get her. I hung up but knew she was concerned and praying for me.

I got on the phone with Avis at the Tallahassee airport (the only rental car company open that late) and secured a vehicle to be picked up one way or another. I then found a tow company who arrived in about 30 minutes. I didn't have the heart to ask for a ride because I was pretty confident that his insurance probably didn't cover a rider in the vehicle. When I asked him about the availability of a cab in our small town and that late at night, he assured me there probably wasn't one.

I was quite let down at the prospect, that is until he offered to get me wherever I needed to be. He mentioned he's a full service wrecker company and that came with the basic price, a price that didn't even change for after hours service. Wow!

We dropped off my injured car and drove to his office to swap the wrecker for his pickup truck. He then proceeded to carry me between 20 and 30 miles to the Tallahassee, Florida International Airport. On the way, we were confronted by some very large items strewn all over the road and took a sharp turn into the ditch to avoid them. I felt the truck fish tail as we left the road and was sure we would begin to take a spinning roll as we headed down the steep embankment. I was relieved when we arrived at the bottom, still upright and uninjured.

We finally made it to the airport and I paid my new friend, picked up my rental, and headed over to the hospital to pick up my wife. The immediate crisis was over but there was still the concern about whether or not an overheated engine survived the chaos, not to mention what else might have been damaged and might require repair.

Since we're retired with only one (now damaged) car, I took it upon myself to use the rental to check out the used car inventory at a couple of used car lots just in case our 20+ year old vehicle was not going to survive the event. Fortunately, the vehicle did indeed survive and we're back to life as usual. Only now we've got a new and wacky story to share. I'm grateful to still be here to share it.


44 YEARS

DECEMBER 11, 2020



Anniversary 44

Most of the people in my age group, the audience for which I'm best suited to target my posts, don't drive stick shift vehicles anymore - if they ever did. So the analogy I wanted to use probably falls short in that area.

On the other hand, it's my guess that most of us remember vividly that period in life when the 3 speed English Racer (and even the 10 speed follow-up) became available and we put aside our old banana seat bikes and pounced on the newer option with the improved technology.

We quickly learned that first gear involved a lot of pedaling that didn't produce much speed or progress, but was great for up-hill battles. Well, that is the perfect analogy for the way life feels right now. With a hospitalized mother-in-law and a car that went out of commission at the same time (for this one car family) I felt like I was back on an English Racer in first gear on flat ground and pedaling madly without making much progress.

Today is our 44th anniversary and up until yesterday it looked like our plans for celebration were going to have to take a back seat to more urgent needs. But without warning, it seems that everything broke loose and now it looks like our pandemic-sensitive plan is back on once again.

Here's to 44 more!


LILY

DECEMBER 08, 2020



Lily2

Sometime earlier this year, we rescued a cat from the local animal shelter. The lady at the shelter had already named her Lily and we loved the name, thought it suited her, and so decided to stay with it.

It was clear that the lady had fallen in love with Lily and she certainly teared up when we took Lily home with us. I don't know if I could handle that job either - getting attached to animals and then seeing them find a new home.

We were told that Lily was a feral cat and all evidence certainly points in that direction. She doesn't really like the kind of affection that other cats often enjoy and we've kind of had to get used to that. She will sit with us as long as we're scratching her but he moment we stop, she's off to lay down somewhere or do something else.

Sometimes, if nothing else is going on, she will climb up on my desk and lay on my warm laptop (also shown in the picture.) And, she loves to bring her squeaky mouse to my door for me to toss it and let her chase it.

In fact, better than that, she loves to chase the red light from my laser pointer when I make it dash on the floor and all around the room. Of course, and as you can imagine, that game doesn't last too long. Once she gets tired, she is only too glad to watch the pointer and imagine that she's chasing it.

Her very favorite thing, other than pointing out the need for more cat food in her cat food bowl, is sitting by one of the many sliding glass doors in the house and watching the wildlife outside. It really brings out the feral hunter in her!


THREE WISE MEN (part 3)

DECEMBER 06, 2020



3 Wise Counselors 3

After our departure from Savannah, Georgia, we found ourselves just west of Atlanta and in the city of Douglasville. It was a reasonable drive from there into the offices of Amoco Fabrics and Fibers where I worked and Patty was recruited for a teaching position with the public school system there in Douglas County.

Wise Counselor Number Three

When looking for a church in that area, a friend suggested we check out First Baptist Church and, in particular, the Sunday School class of Joe Fowler. Shortly thereafter we visited Joe's class and were immediately captivated by Joe's spiritual depth, his wonderful knowledge of and passion for Christ, and his deep and apparent love for everyone around him.

At one point, Joe was the Vice President of the student body at the University of Georgia where he studied law. He later joined a successful law practice there in Douglasville where he ultimately became a partner.

But more importantly to me, Joe was the consummate servant to everyone around him and a wonderful example of Christ to each of us. In fact, at the Wednesday lunch and Bible Study that he hosted at the church, I once heard a fella call Joe his best friend. To that comment, another fella responded, Joe is everyone's best friend! That pretty well sums up the Joe Fowler who I got to know.

It wasn't long before Joe and I were meeting for coffee early on Saturday mornings at the Shoney's there in Douglasville. Joe Fowler was about 5 years my senior, but just like with Joe Strickland and Rick Monroe, there was a lot there for me to learn from Joe and I was hungry for, and quite honored by, the time he made available to me.

There is no doubt in my mind that Christ used Joe Fowler in a powerful and wonderful way to make a significant and lasting difference in my life; and, one for which I will always be grateful.

One of the special memories of my life was having an opportunity to have all three of my aforementioned wise counselors at my daughter's wedding. It was there that I had the opportunity to introduce them to each other and to share with them collectively all that they have meant to me, over the years, as the three wise counselors in my life. Of course, Joe Strickland and Rick already knew each other but it was truly a special moment to pull them aside and have just the three of them together.

We lost Joe Strickland recently, but I'm sure everyone in heaven is rejoicing after a job very well done, and I'm confident they are all still celebrating his welcome home!


THREE WISE MEN (part 2)

DECEMBER 05, 2020



3 Wise Counselors 2

Joe Strickland had a very gifted friend - a young man about my age who also served on the Lay Witness Mission Team led by Joe. This young man was in charge of the Young Life organization there in Savannah and I believe was at one point a leader for Young Life in Georgia.

His gift extended well beyond the Young Life organization as he was a constant presence at high school football games and basically any place where a crowd of young people were gathered. He was known and loved by many of the youth of Savannah.

Wise Counselor Number Two

I met Rick Monroe, who was also a resident of Savannah and owner of Monroe Marketing, on one of the first Lay Witness Missions in which Patty and I participated. Joe Strickland recognized Rick's amazing gift for young people and recruited him and his team to work with the youth on our mission trips.

While we ministered to adults of all ages, Rick and his team of young people were at one moment hosting a competition to see who could stuff the most marshmallows in their mouth and, at the next moment, taking the young people on a heart-felt journey into the deep things of Christ.

Despite being close to the same age, I saw early on that there was much I could learn from Rick and we became good friends. We both had busy lives, but managed to carve out time to meet regularly for breakfast very early on most Saturday mornings.

And, just like with Joe, when Patty and I left town my friendship with Rick, and our working together continued to flourish. As she got older, our daughter, Allie, also started working on Rick's team on some of the Lay Witness Missions. And, when Allie prepared to marry Josh, I suggested that it might be a real special thing to have Rick marry them. In fact, and at our request, Rick became licensed just for the event and turned what too often is an ordinary event into a very special time together.

Speaking of Allie, one year on Christmas morning in the mid 80's, Santa and two of his elves came to visit Allie and Jonathan at our house in Savannah. Actually, it was Rick and two of the teenage young ladies from Young Life and something they had been doing for several years. What a blessing (and an honor) to have Santa visit the kids on Christmas morning!


THREE WISE MEN (part 1)

DECEMBER 04, 2020



3 Wise Counselors

In 1984 we left Albany, Georgia and moved to Savannah, Georgia where I took a job with the Georgia Ports Authority. And with that move, God unfolded His plan for a completely new chapter in our spiritual lives.

We had been part of a small singing group there in Albany that was made up of four couples and known as The Joy Group. Only a few days before we left for Savannah, the group threw us a going away party.

As the party came to an end, one of the men encouraged me to look up a guy named Joe Strickland when we got to Savannah. He told me that Joe was with what was then Nation's Bank, and has since become Bank of America. I took the suggestion seriously and called Joe at the bank when we arrived.

Wise Counselor Number One

Joe invited me to join him for lunch and so I made the trip over to the bank fully expecting to ride with him to one of the local restaurants. To my surprise, Joe took me up to his office where we were presented with an elegant and upscale seafood lunch. Only then did I discover that Joe was president of Bank of America there in Savannah.

While at the bank, Joe pulled out a map of Savannah to point out some of the better areas for purchasing a home. He helped me with a number of other things in our transition to Savannah, and also invited Patty and I to a Bible Study that he and his wife, Janet, hosted in their home.

Joe was ten years my senior and I saw in him a lot of what and who I wanted to become. I asked if I could treat him to lunch the following week and that turned out to be the first of many weekly lunch meetings together. In those meetings, I quickly came to recognize Joe as a mentor and wise counselor in my life.

In addition, Joe invited Patty and I to become members of his Lay Witness Mission Team and we worked together on numerous Lay Witness Mission Weekends in a number of different churches over a number of years. At some point the team also got involved with Emmaus Walks and started several Walk to Emmaus communities in south and east Georgia.

In 1988, Joe and his family left Savannah due to a promotion with the bank. At the very same time, Patty and I left Savannah to take on a new job within a division of Amoco Oil that would relocate us to Atlanta. Despite the geographical differences, we would continue to work together for many years on both Lay Witness Mission Weekends and Walk to Emmaus Weekends, not to mention meeting up at each other's homes and spending delightful weekends together enjoying our wonderfully blessed friendship.


THE ROMANCE

DECEMBER 02, 2020

Romance

My dear love and soulmate has asked me many times what I like most about life and living down here on the gulf. And, my answer is always the same. I enjoy the variety that life and this location have to offer. And, I particularly enjoy the the romance of it all.

I'm not much of an outdoor sportsman like so many who have a second home in our neighborhood. I enjoy kayaking and casting a line every now and then, but I'm not much interested in boating and all that has to be in place to support a serious fishing or hunting hobby.

This is indeed a sportsman's paradise, but that's honestly not what attracted me to this area. I came here first and foremost for the romance. I came here for the ocean view and for the peace and the quiet that come with a place like this. And, I enjoy each of those every day.

So many here, including my soulmate, spend a great deal of their time outdoor. As for me, doing my outdoor chores or grabbing the mail or a quick glance out the window is all I really need to sustain me in the midst of my otherwise indoor geek life.

What about my passion for daily running, those who know me might ask? Well, truth be told, that did not come about due to anything in my DNA. It's one of several things I have adopted, with great effort and sacrifice, to serve my goals of better health, fitness, better diet, and weight maintenance. Running did indeed become a passion, but it definitely did not start out that way.

Still, at the end of the day this Florida life is about all of those things that work so well together to provide the romance. In fact, we made a conscious choice very early in 2013 to leave a relatively secure situation up in Georgia and take on a risky and adventurous move to Florida. Well, now we're here and grateful to God every day for this beautiful place we call home!

Here's to the romance!


UNPACKING MY FAITH

NOVEMBER 28, 2020

Unpacking My Faith

I have a weekly standing phone call with my 37-year-old son. It's something I really look forward to and it always promises something new and interesting. We both seem to have been cut out of a similar fabric and enjoy going deep together in our discussions.

Sometimes when he wants to explain something that might take a moment, he does a great job of preparing me by saying, let me unpack this. I know what comes next will be a thoughtful presentation of an idea in which he wants to paint a clearer picture for me. I really like and appreciate it when he uses that phrase to prep me. And as a result, I put aside any processing of my thoughts and make a conscious shift into listener mode.

In my post yesterday, I made reference to the importance of a foundation built in faith. And now, borrowing from my son's reference, I want to unpack that idea just a bit.

We often use the term faith to represent our system of beliefs. However, in this case I'm using the term to represent the reference in Hebrews 11:1 where it says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In recent years, I've had quite an epiphany regarding the application of faith (and the importance of it) in my life.

I'm by nature a rules type of guy. I'm the kind of guy who finds peace, comfort, and even joy in the academic side of this system of beliefs called Christianity. I like the opportunities I've had to study the Word of God and the wise writings of so many of Christ's teachers. And, I like the perception that everything I've learned fits together in a neat package.

But, I've come to understand in recent years that what I've learned really doesn't fit into a neat package. There was something that was missing and I didn't know what it was. I went from being a guy who found peace in the academic side of being a follower of Christ to a guy who found something missing in that same academic side. And, the experience shook me to my core and challenged everything I had grown to believe.

I didn't know it yet, but I had stepped away from the necessity of faith. It represented an unknown quantity and there was no place for it in the academic world to which I had become so engrossed. After all, I saw so many individuals putting their faith in systems of belief with far less evidence.

If I was to be a witness to Christianity and following Christ, it needed to be something in which I could place my total and complete trust and confidence. Otherwise, I was a fraud perpetuating a lie. And, I didn't want to follow a system of beliefs where faith so often seems to be a required substitute for the lack of anything reasonable.

Fortunately, for anyone willing to do the due diligence, the faith that Christ requires is not only a reasonable faith, but a far more reasonable and evidence-based faith than any other. And with that said, I remain grateful for the call in my life, and this system of beliefs that Christ has laid out for me, and that brings true meaning and purpose in my life.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

NOVEMBER 27, 2020

Spiritual Life

Patty and I were talking the other day and, in our discussion, I was reminded of how important my spiritual core is to everything I believe and hence everything I do. There was a time in my life where I saw my spiritual core as just one of many components vying for equal time. Well, I don't think I actually visualized it that way, but I fear I behaved as if I did. That was rather unfortunate.

What I want is to see all of life through the filter of my faith. To ask what Jesus would do is not practical to me. But, to ask what He would have me do, as confirmed in His word, is the filter to which I believe I've been called.

There was a season early on where I found myself ensnared in the trap of seeking man's approval. It's a terrible trap in which to find one's self. But, I finally discovered the truth, and the truth has indeed set me free. And with that freedom came a level of understanding and commitment that was not there before. It's an understanding that I no longer belong to myself and a commitment that I belong to Christ.

Probably the most important lesson I have learned in all of this is the importance of a foundation built in faith. A close second to that would be my understanding, based in faith, that I'm called into a personal relationship with Christ. It goes beyond the academic and the emotions to something that resembles a combination of both. I am called into a personal relationship with Christ where He first loved me and where, in a state of mercy and grace, I learn to love Him with my heart, my mind, and my soul.

For all that Christ has done for me, there is a single word that describes the constant state in which I live.

For I am indeed Grateful.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING

NOVEMBER 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving


NOT TODAY!

NOVEMBER 25, 2020

Not Today

I love the caption on this picture!

Okay, but first a bit of backstory here...

When I was in that college class in 1973, sitting across the room from the most beautiful young lady I had ever seen, I remember thinking to myself, she's the one! My heart and my head were in complete agreement. It was love at first site! The rest was just details. I married her three years later, we've had 44 wonderful years since, and she is still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!

Unfortunately, I had no such similar experience with a love for running when I started out. My head bought in early (I knew it was good for me) but my heart was a conscientious objector and a hold out (the passion just wasn't there!)

If you ask me when my heart finally bought in, I couldn't really tell you. The good news is that my head carried me until that point finally arrived. And when my heart took over, and the passion kicked in, I'm not sure I was even aware that it had happened. But, for a long time now it's been clear to me that it did.

On February 28, 2014 we purchased Sea Glass Cottage in Pensacola and on Sunday May 4, 2014 we made our big move to Florida (with much help from, and a big thanks to, our son and daughter-in-law.) I was still several months from the 60 yard line of life, but somehow I conjured up a notion that I might be getting to old to run.

With that thought trying to assume control, what followed for the next couple of years was a mix of running days, walking days, and neither days. I had not yet come to understand that there was great benefit in running and walking in the same activity on the same day and equal benefit in understanding the difference between a too lazy to run down day and a need to recover down day.

I had been in plenty of distance races with men who were many years my senior, and they were still running. So, I honestly have no idea where that aforementioned notion came from. But I did come to realize that the lack of commitment to running was just not working for me.

Now what I have come to understand is that there is a delicate balance between pride-running and health-running. Pride-runners pay a dear price in terms of their health because they're in it for all the wrong reasons. Health-runners keep a focus on health first and adapt and adopt as their aging body demands.

If I have my preference, I would be glad for my last day on earth to be a running day. Otherwise, I'll go with the caption on the picture up above!


WORKS FOR ME!

NOVEMBER 24, 2020

Works For Me

I want to follow up on the theme I chose for yesterday. I talked about the idea of what works for me from a very high level but today I want to dive into specifics.

If I don't have a photo to go with my blog post, I usually type the title in Google and see what comes up in the images category. Well, today my working title started out as What Works For Me but when I put that in Google I was presented with picture after picture of something I used to say much more often way back when.

Works For Me!

I've always thought of that comment as another way of saying that something wouldn't be my first choice, but that I could still go with it. Or, it might be another way of saying that I'll defer to another person's approach for the sake of working together.

Well, that's a long way from my focus for today's post. This really is about the idea of learning what works for me, even when it doesn't work for anyone else. I'm not trying to pursue originality for the sake of originality, but I'm also not interested in being who I'm not in order to attain the affirmations that too many seem to be seeking these days.

So, let's get into some specifics.

I've always been able to hide my extra weight and to sort of get away with being a heavier version of myself than I really wanted to be. I envied those who were trim and either had the genetics or the discipline to stay that way.

My battle has always been a battle with food. I got away with it as a kid when I had a hyper-fast metabolism, but as I grew older and the metabolism slowed the bad habits remained and I found myself with more weight than I wanted to carry. In my battle between extra food and losing weight, the extra food always won! In my battle between more sweets and less sweets, more always won.

Six months ago, in June of 2020, I finally got tired of sugar crashes and living on wishes and excuses. I knew I had a tough battle ahead of me and that it was one I had failed at many times before. I also had no idea what would be different this time in my battle, but I knew something had to be different if I were to succeed.

I was amazed at what I discovered and it has been revolutionary in my ongoing battle toward weight loss and finally weight maintenance. By the way, the operative word in that last statement was ongoing!

It is an ongoing battle, but I've turned it into a hobby or better yet a lifestyle and new way of living. And, more importantly, I've been able to identify and incorporate those things that work for me instead of battling those things that don't. That's been the key to my success in this effort - finding a replacement for the things that haven't worked in the past and focusing upon the good instead of the bad.

One key thing I have learned about myself is that this has to involve an all or nothing approach. I can't do cheat meals. I can't do occasional sweets. Others might be able to, but I can't! I have to be able to commit to a firm plan and stay the course at all costs.

And guess what? For six months I've done it. If you would have told me that I could replace all processed sugar with natural sugar I would have never believed you. If you would have told me I could drop 20 more pounds I would have laughed - especially knowing how difficult it has been for me to drop just ten or even five.

The real good news is that success breeds more success. I knew that going in, but it's a great feeling to enjoy success and the strength and momentum that come with it. I'm even running more consistently than I ever have before and my training runs are better and stronger than they've ever been.

Here's to success, yours and mine!


WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

What Works For You?

It's not even in my top 10 list of favorite Mark Twain quotes, but when it comes to good advice it's hard to beat! So, why don't we pay heed to that advice, stake a claim on it, and run with it? Here's an example right from the pages of my own life.

It's the week of Thanksgiving. We've always gotten together with family to celebrate. And when we gather in a circle for the prayer right before the meal, it's always been a tradition to go around the circle and have each person say one thing for which he or she is thankful. You can tell that some struggle with it and some tolerate it, but most get in the spirit of it and participate. Some even go into the deepest recesses of their hearts for an honest and vulnerable answer.

Still, the thankful list turns out to be generally the same year after year. There's more than a few tired answers and always one or two that border on eloquent, but could be considered insincere. So, what is it for which I am truly thankful? In the absence of a large gathering this year and with the feeling that I have lost my Thanksgiving mojo, I asked myself that same question. And guess what? When I finally landed on my honest answer, I didn't like it!

One might think that I've lost my Thanksgiving mojo because of the pandemic, but that sincerely has nothing to do with it. Truth is, the generation that has always taken the lead in pulling the event together has pretty much passed away. The rest of us have begun to gather with the new patriarchs and matriarchs in our individual, smaller, and much more geographically diverse, family units. There's still a few holdouts, but it seems things (and the times) have changed.

Then where did my Thanksgiving mojo go? Well, to be honest I am incredibly thankful for all that God has done and has provided in my life and the lives of everyone in our family unit. So, in that sense, my Thanksgiving mojo is still there and will always be there.

Then what is the problem, you might ask? I wish I could offer some super spiritual answer relating to the loss of those more senior generations and, in particular, my mom and dad! But, this one is much more simple than that and frankly a bit embarrassing, if truth be told.

Six months ago I took on a major change in my life and now it's going to be time to pay up! I discovered what it is that works for me and I'm going to have to be true to it, despite the sacrifice for which it calls. It sounds a bit trite, but this year will not be a year where I include those delicious and delectable desserts that have played such a prominent role in my life in years past. This year's event will not include a primary focus on eating way too much either!

This year's event will continue to support my newer eat to live focus with a continued refrain from my former live to eat lifestyle. This year will include a continuation of my six month old diet and the weight maintenance program that has worked for me in such an effective manner. I will eat well, and will enjoy what I eat, but all within the new limits I have set out for myself. And, in all of that, I will have discovered a wonderful and healthy contribution to my newly reformed and revitalized Thanksgiving mojo.


FAMILY

OCTOBER 20, 2020

Family
The picture above was taken in Pensacola, Florida in 2015. Left to right in the picture are my wife and I, our son Jonathan and and his lovely bride Amy, our daughter Allie and her awesome husband Josh, and our two amazing grandsons - Noah and Gabe.

When it comes to family, I can't imagine any husband or father who has ever been more blessed and grateful than this guy! There are not enough bytes on the internet to capture all of the good things I could say about my wife, the kids and their spouses, and those amazing grandsons.

I'm grateful because my family members have all taken on the challenge to become students of this life. There is so much to be learned in this gift of a lifetime, and there is so much to be gained by pursuing those lessons of life and the experiences that come with them.

I crossed the 66 yard line of life last month and I find it hard to believe that there are so many simple lessons still to be learned this far down the path. I suspect each of us could spend several lifetimes and not even begin to scratch the surface of all that there is to learn and experience. But, discovering the peace and contentment that come with these lessons has been well worth the effort!

What a blessing it is, in these retirement years, to sit on the back deck with my soul mate and talk about the things God seems to be doing in our lives. I married such a wise, caring, and beautiful woman. And, I am grateful every day that she made a choice to spend her entire life with me. That's something that is still difficult for me to imagine, much less understand.

And, what a treat it is to hear from the kids and the grandsons and to share in the joys of their lives. All things considered, what more could this guy possibly ask for?


Copyright © 2024 Hutch DeLoach