Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Syntax/Perspective

It's funny how the use of words or misuse of them affect different listeners and/or readers to varying degrees. Like putting your "PIN number" in the "ATM machine" Really? It's putting your pin in the atm for cryin' out loud! Ok that's my morning rant.
That aside, we're inching closer to the weekend, yay! Hallelujah! And all that? I trust your week has been good up to this point. I'm just kind of getting back into the routine of "putting it down," in textual sense that is. Have a good morning/afternoon/or evening peeps, whichever applies only to you.

As for perspective, it's also interesting to look at people's contrasting viewpoints on winter all throughout the land. I hear friends in the southeastern United States talking of the blizzards and whiteouts that they're experiencing. So here's the picture, here fifty-six kilometres above the arctic circle the temp has dropped a few times to negative thirty, that's over sixty degrees below freezing. And we've received maybe three or four feet of snow this season. With all that said, these three winters that we've been up here have been very mild. That's right, the temps have NOT made it to minus seventy, with 100mph winds, and up to six or seven feet of snow.

And when I throw out the term whiteout, that's having to put on a face shield, several layers of snow gear from head to toe just to get to the jeep, that is if I can see to get to it. So does this mean that my peers in the south don't know what they're talking about when they mention blizzards and white outs and all. NOPE! Though our perspectives differ greatly, how we feel doesn't. I hope all my friends spread throughout the southeast stay warm, toasty, and safe. Peace out ☃


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Living in a totally different world . . .

 

The above image was taken this past week at just a few minutes after eleven a.m. Where in northern Alaska we are getting just over six hours of light each day. We also lose right around seven minutes of light daily until the twenty-second of December, where we will then begin regaining that which we have lost. The year kind of goes like this, winter darkness, spring normal light, summer lotsa' light, and fall once again normal light. So one of the questions most asked are, "how can you handle the darkness of winter? It seems like it would be so depressing." For me, or actually both of us, the winter isn't bad at all, because we can turn on lots of light, and at bed time we turn it off. The fall and spring are kind of like yours, normal light, so that's easy. It's the summer that kind of throws us off balance, because when we're out and about having a good time, pretty soon it's four a.m. and the sun is still up, what to do?
 

Well then there's my Pretty Paula, she's been my best friend, my pal, my confidante for thirty-eight years, and for nearly thirty-six of those years she's been my wife. There it is, in a winter season with lots of darkness, she brings loads and loads of light. I am blessed and highly favored that she calls me, "hers." and the converse as well. We have seen many places in this world, inclusive are North, Central, and South America, Asia, Europe most of the Caribbean, and we still have a lot of years ahead.
It is funny how that we have come full circle to the place of my birth, and now minister here to our own people. So many times I wish I could sit and have a chat with my mom and dad who adopted me and took me with them on their world adventures, and let them know that I'm back where it all started. Somehow I think they just might know . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walking in the Dark . . .

We lived in our Tennessee home for thirteen years. Long enough to get to know every inch of the house. We could show you little nicks in the wall where our son and his friend were speeding through the house in his friend's wheelchair. I could walk in the dark from one end of the house to the next, even navigating the steps in complete darkness wasn't a problem.













So when we moved to Europe, after a few weeks of living in our new home, I didn't think twice about doing the same thing here. The trouble was we had only lived here around thirteen weeks as opposed to thirteen years. So I did not know every inch of the way. So off I headed from our living quarters into the entry way of the center. Six year old Tre was right behind me as we walked through the blackness and, suddenly out of nowhere the hook from a coat rack, and my eye met up in the darkness, and brought me to an immediate stop. I thought for sure I had punctured my eye, it was like a flash went off in my face. The pain was intense. We turned around, and made our way slowly back out of the darkness and up the steps to the livingroom, and I to the bathroom. After finally taking my hand away and looking in the mirror, it was plain to see that my eye had not been mortally wounded, the eyelid fortunately had kept the eyeball itself from serious injury. The trouble was now I was seeing double. Now I am thinking, "great," I have to go to the hospital and see what sort of long term damage I have inflicted on my eye. I walked into the office where the others were, and Paula took one look at me and asked me what was wrong, I told her what happened, and Tre who really didn't know that I'd hurt myself in the dark came to my side and said, pastor, can I pray for you? Of course my immediate response was yes, and the good news is that after a few more minutes, the vision returned to normal. Will "eye" be walking in the dark anytime soon, not likely. I think there's a message in here somewhere.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Classical Conditioning . . .

A Big Wet Kiss and a Happy Furry Friday from Zeus ! ! !
This by the way is our friend Stacy's dog ZEUS!

You recall studying about Pavlov's dogs! Classical conditioning, conditioned reflex! You will then remember that when a bell was rung, or a certain other device was used to announce the arrival of food, that the dogs began to salivate even before the food was brought out. the dogs understood the signal and began to reflexively anticipate feeding time.

I am continually amazed how the Lord answers our prayers. Time after time He has come through at the very last second, I am not surprised, but yet I am. There was the time early on in our marriage that we needed a bathroom faucet to accomodate company coming that evening. We didn't have any money, yet that afternoon while we were driving the back roads of Washington State, there in the middle of the road way out in the middle of nowhere was a little box. I stopped, curious being that I am and got out of our car picked up the box and got back in the car, opened it and you guessed it. It was the needed faucet for our bathroom. There was another instance during that same time period that we needed a wheel bearing changed, again no money to put the car in the garage. That evening a friend showed up at our door and just said he was dropping in to say hi. I casually mentioned the dilemma with our car and he said he'd be glad to change it. I asked him how much he would charge and he responded, "ah just a good home-cooked meal." Three hours later we were sitting at the dinner table and our wheel was good as new. I could literally bore you to tears with stories like this all through out our lives.

But here's one that rates up near the top. Back in the summer of 95 Paula and I and the kids had just moved to Cleveland, TN to finish up our education at Lee University. We purged our moving van of all the boxes. Cooked up some dinner, hooked up the TV and settled down for the evening. The next day would be registration for our fall classes. As we laid down that night to go to sleep. The neighbor's dog parked right under our bedroom window and barked loudly all night. We did not get a wink of sleep. Anyhow that next morning we went to the school and got all registered. Later on that night after a very tiring day, we settled in for our second nights sleep in our new home. Five minutes after laying down, we began dozing off, and the dog started in again.

Now I'm at the point of desperation. We didn't sleep at all the previous night, and I couldn't face the possibility of another sleepless night, especially with classes beginning the next morning. I didn't just get out of bed, I JUMPED out of bed, marched over to the window where the dog was closest. I layed my hand on the wall and invoked the name of Jesus, reminding Him that He had once shut the mouth of the lion for Daniel, and if He did so for him, He shouldn't be any respector of persons and do the same for me. My words were quite literally, "Father shut this dog's mouth in the name of your son Jesus!" I then got back in bed, and Paula and I slept all night long, the dog didn't make a sound the rest of the night. The next morning I got up and Paula said I'm glad that dog let us sleep, I was curious so I went outside the house and went to where the dog was, and when I rounded the corner there he was. He began to bark at me, BUT absolutely no sound came from him, not even a raspy sound. It's like someone turned his volume down to zero. Those people lived next door for a couple of months and the dog never got his voice back.

So one would think with a history like this that I would not be surprised each time the Lord answers a prayer. But as I said, "I am continually amazed" at how the Lord hears and answers His children. Maybe I should be like Pavlov's dog so that when I pray I would hear a bell go off in my head and I would understand that God had heard me and an answer was quickly on the way.

For more than a week now the printer in my office has not worked, I even wrote my message last week in longhand. Once again this morning I tried in vain to print something on it and it just kept giving me messages that the printer was not installed so I reinstalled, and then it would say printer spooler is not running. And finally in desperation I typed the following words into the computer and hit print, "Please Jesus, heal this cpu/printer connexion." I like the spanish spelling of connection. No surprises here, it printed perfectly. My cpu and printer are once again on speaking terms. You see we can have what we ask for, all we have to do is ASK!

Ding ding ding, by now I should be conditioned to expect an answer. Oh what a mighty God we serve.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Anniversaire . . .

Today is our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary.

When I took Paula to her physical therapists appointment today, she told Ingrid that today was our anniversary. And Ingrid responded in her best French accented English, how many years? When Paula told her twenty-nine, she gave back this sort of puzzled look. Like I know you and you are more than twenty nine years. But the French word for birthday is also anniversaire. Well anyhow Ingrid wished Paula a happy birthday, and Paula laughed and understood that she thought that she was telling her that she was twenty-nine years old.
The therapist finally caught on, and they both had a good laugh.

When I met Paula just over thirty-one years ago. I had no idea what adventurous roads our lives would lead us down. Paula and I have been to all but two states, Wisconsin and Hawaii. To all the Central American countries and some South American, many of the Caribbean islands (and oh what places those are . . .) Taipei, Taiwan, and several of the cities in the Philipine Islands. To say that we love to travel would be a massive understatement. In the very short time that we have been in Belgium, we have picked up a lot of the French language, which is not quite as hard as it is made out to be. I cannot imagine a life without my closest friend that I've ever had, Paula. It is her that has made my life soo enjoyable. When I first arrived in Europe in late October, I began to see and experience many things, but I always ached for the time that she would get here. Because the Belgian Waffles, Chocolat, and many other European delicacies just did not taste quite as good without her tasting them with me. Now that she is here, we are definitely in for the ride of a life-time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Continental Drift . . .

Paree Dec 08

Saturday Paula and I caught an excursion out of SHAPE, and spent the entire day in Paris. And I HAVE to say, that everything I've ever read, or seen on TV or the big-screen fell far short of what it was really like to be in the City of Lights.
No matter which way you turned, your senses were assaulted by amazing beauty, whether it was the Parisiennes, the art, (and it was pervasive) or the smell wafting off the street vendors. There we gave into our first temptation of the day consuming some sort of Libyan delicacy, which was a fried, spinach stuffed empanada, and hoo boy was it good!
Our day began after the coach dropped us off nearly at the base of the Eiffel Tower, where we took photo-ops, then walked a few blocks to the Arc de Triomphe. There at the head of the world famous Avenue des Champs Elysees we started off toward the museum. We spent a couple of hours on the avenue just taking in much of what the city had to offer.
We literally oohed and aahed our way through what seemed to be several miles of attractions, (okay! okay! several kilometres, alrighty then) and then finally arrived at the Musee du Louvre. Then the sensory overload really kicked in. To actually see the MONA LISA up close and personal, the works of PICASSO and other masters was just incredible, it was almost too much. It would require a life-time to take in all that this world-class city has to offer, and we WILL return again, and again.

Monday, December 29, 2008

If/Then Propositions

Pointing the Way . . .

If I go to bed early, then I will feel more rested tomorrow.
If I eat too much fast food, then my belt will feel more tight.
If I smile at someone, then they will usually smile back at me.
If I drive too fast, then I will catch the attention of the police.
If I shake the cat-food bag, then my cat will come running.

If I use the right bait, then I will certainly catch more fish.
If I want to ride the trains in Paris, then I have to be quick.
If I keep on playing & playing, then my Wii scores will go up.
If I go to IKEA with Paula, then we will likely buy something.
If I feel like fast food, then I'll go to McDonald's every time.

Matthew 9:18
While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came
and worshipped Him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but
come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.

If the ruler in the scripture understood anything at all he
understood this:

If I worship Him, then I can get Him to come to my house . . .
A very simple proposition . . .