Sunday, August 30, 2009

If it's not one thing...

it's ten others! That's what my sister Kathy said in response to the news that our brother had a mini-stroke last week. Oh dear. This is the same brother whose son shattered his wrist and broke his back several weeks ago. He fell off a cliff where there used to be a bridge. The bright side is he's going to be okay -- could have been so much worse! The dark side, he's 18, out of high school, but not enrolled in college yet. He's no longer covered under his parents' health insurance. Can you say, financial nightmare?

That's three calamities, which I could make into four or five by adding that my brother is a comedian -- Let's stroke? Couldn't that possibly affect his ability to pull the right word to the tip of his tongue at the right time? His livelihood depends on using words, firing them off, making people laugh. It's his talent, his gift, and he does it well. What will happen if he can't do that for a while, or ever again? (Okay, now I'm just borrowing trouble. Instead I'll make my list of 10 things and then put this season of trouble to rest.)

My mom had a scare from her latest CAT scan. The bright side -- it was just that, a scare, no cancer.

Dad is having a bout with kidney stones, and he's not seeing any bright side to that. But a scan that he had shows possible bladder tumors. If that turns out to be the case, the bright side is this: they found them and will most likely be able to treat them before anything is life threatening.

All this may keep Mom and Dad from coming north for Dad's 60th high school class reunion. It will be hugely disappointing for him to miss that. No bright side there.

Two of my nephews live in California. One of them can see smoke from the wild fires raging nearby. (Maybe they both can, but I've only heard from one.) The bright side is they don't live where the fires are.

My daughter-in-law is suffering from morning sickness. (I just sneaked that in to say...we're getting another grandchild in March!) But still, it isn't fun for her right now, the being sick part.

So, if it's not one thing it's ten others. That seems to be how life is. Does trouble come from God or from being part of a fallen, sin-filled world? I believe it's the latter. But even if it does come from God, the God who gives us so many wonderful things to enjoy, I hope I can always say, as Job did, "Shall we accept good things from God and not trouble?"

Accept it or not, it's a fact of life..."In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer," Jesus said, "I have overcome the world."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Men on a Hot Tin Roof

Okay, so I don't know if it's tin, but it's some kind of metal and it was HOT. All that cool weather we've been wishing away this summer stepped aside for a brief stint of crazy hot. It was unfortunate timing in light of a roofing project someone in our church organized. The day dawned bright and beautiful. We were so happy to have a gorgeous day...until the heat and humidity kept rising...until a couple of guys got feeling sick...until it became apparent that all that good food we brought wasn't going to get eaten. Oh well. The good news is that the house was securely under roof before everyone left that evening. Not so the porch. But it will all get done. I'm confident of that.

First, off with the old...or most of the old...
(Here's Tom climbing a ladder hours before the heat got to him and rendered him worthless.)

Then on with the new...(Hot? Ask this guy about it. He says it was like working over an oven the way the heat radiated.)

Here are some guys sweating it out on the ground. Somebody's got to clean up the old shingles. Volunteers? anyone? anyone? (I would have helped, but I was manning the camera.)

The women were working too, painting the porch and window trim. Oh, and, would that be me? In the white shirt off to the right, standing around talking? With my hands in my pockets? I must have been consulting, or supervising, or something important like that.It really was an impressive crew. The grateful homeowner was overwhelmed, and so appreciated everything that got done. The workers were equally blessed.

That was last weekend. This weekend Tom and I stayed home and worked in our tree fields...where it doesn't matter how hot it gets. We pace ourselves. An hour or two of work, a dip in the pool. It's a much more reasonable way to work. Next time we help with a roofing project, we'll pack up the pool and take it along. It might be the most valuable tool on the job site.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Our Davey Boy asked Melanie to marry him and she said yes! We're happy as can be for them. And just as happy for us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Failure and Success

I came across an interesting statement in the book Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. I've enjoyed and appreciated Chan's words of wisdom, but this quote isn't his, he is quoting Tim Kizziar, "Our greatest fear as individuals, and as a church, should not be fear of failure, but fear of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

I've been thinking about that all week. What in the world really matters? Well, what really matters isn't in this world. What really matters is eternity. But I live in this world here and now...passing through, so to speak...and there are a lot of things I need to take care of just because I'm here, now. I'll admit that I don't feel terribly successful. But add to that, while I'm doing the things I'm doing, now I have to wonder if those things matter. Am I afraid of failure? You betcha. But here's my new perspective, convoluted as it may be. It actually would be hugely successful to fail at things that don't matter. Just try...if it fails it probably didn't matter anyway.

I'm pretty sure that's nothing like what Tim Kizziar meant when he said, "Our greatest fear, as individuals or as a church, should not be fear of failure, but fear of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

Mondays swim count -- 16 guests. Tuesdays count -- 16 also, but not all at the same time, and only a few of the same people as Monday. Today it's cool but sunny, the water is sparkling and warm, I'm hoping for company.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Summer is flying by. If you lived around here you'd be asking, "what summer?" It's been wet and cool with rarely two nice sunny, warm summer days in a row. Hot? Not at all. The one air conditioner unit we own never got out of the closet and the window fans are in the attic...unplugged...collecting dust.

But with all the rain the grass is lush, the garden (such as it is) is bountiful. We're especially thankful for the gift of a gas well so we can heat our pool and enjoy it even when Mr. Sun isn't doing the job of making the water warm. And some people enjoy the cooler weather. I'm happy for them.

We didn't travel this summer (so far) except to move David to Connecticut...from this cute little house that he lived in for five years. To this studio apartment...
We believe that a rainbow is a sign of God's we take this to mean all will be well for our youngest boy in his new grown up job in a grown up world.