Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, October 18, 2010
Please allow me to take you back some years in the past to the early 1980's. I was about 15 or 16 years old and sitting with some friends at the back of church. This was never a good idea and probably especially so with the friends I was with at this particular instance. One of my friends had brought this small ball he had picked up from the church nursery. We started playing a small game of catch back and forth in the pew. Well of course you can possibly see where this is headed. Our church has an incline that the pews sit on. this design is a good one as the elevation goes up to allow for the more convenient viewing of the platform and minister up front. It is also conducive to balls on the floor rolling to the front of the church. This happened in this case and it was one of those moments where you get the giggles and just seems like your going to bust you are trying so hard to not laugh out loud. Physics being what it is of course the ball progressed all the way to the front of the church and rolled right next to our youth pastor at the time, who was speaking that Sunday. He never missed a beat and kept speaking like nothing had happened. Like I said we were about to bust from trying to hold back the laughter, and trying to look inconspicuous.
Fast forward some almost 30 years to this last Sunday October 17, 2010
I have helped at our church now for many years with the morning service.I do the announcements, read openng scripture and miscelaneous other things as required. While I am doing this I see a medium sized yellow nurf ball roll from under the front pew in front of where I was standing. It instantly took me back and I thought of Randy Houchens (the youth pastor back in the early 1980's) whom I talked about earlier and how he did not miss a beat. I look to the possible source of the ball and I see at the back of the church sitting with his older sister my youngest boy, William. He was sitting there as if nothing had happened. I for the most part, did not miss a beat either. It did bring a smile to my face even if he should probably have left the ball in the nursery.
Like the title says: what goes around! :)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I was on my way home from work one evening this last week. I was enjoying the decreased traffic, as I had stayed a little late to finish some things. As I was driving in this certain area I noticed a man on the opposite side of the street trying to get up. He had evidently fallen. He was a very large man and was very muscular in his upper body. It was obvious he had an infirmity in his legs, as he was not bending his knees. Imagine trying to get up form the ground without bending your knees.
Well even in the brief time I was viewing all of this I could see that he was not able to get up. I could see him try and then sit back down and try again. He was struggling very hard and was having no success. As I continued down the road I am playing this mental ping-pong of should I go and help, should I just go on? I look back once more in my rear view mirror to see him try and fail once more to get up. I take the next left turn lane and make a u-turn.
I had to go past him and find a parking place about a half of a block down the street. I walk towards him and see he is still struggling to get up. As I come up to him I ask sir may I give you a hand up? He says “sure” and says, as I extend my hand out to his, “it would be better if you just lifted me from my back.” I reached around his chest and lift as best I could, as he was a very heavy individual. (I wonder what people driving by thought about as they see us two out there trying to get him upright again?) :)
We manage to get him upright again and his cane in hand. I see beads of perspiration on his face, as he thanks me and says, “You’re a saint! “ We briefly talk and he shares how he had tripped over this small crack in the sidewalk as he states it “I was not paying attention and tripped”. Well we talk briefly and we go our separate ways. As I drive home many thoughts go through my head. Thoughts of how I am so blessed and take it for granted. Thoughts of how he called me a “Saint” when I know all so well that is so far from the truth. How we can get so caught up in our lives and the business and forget the simple blessings of sound mind and body, is humbling, to say the least when we get a reminder like this!
I was apprehensive when I started to go to help this man and I suppose there is something to be said about that as well. You see this was an African American man to use the politically correct term and I have to be honest and confess that played a part in my apprehension as well as not knowing if he was perhaps mentally disabled in some way, etc. It is silly when something or someone is different we seem to jump to a state of apprehension or get anxious about the “what if’s”.
How many opportunities to help someone do we just drive by everyday? How many folks out there just need a little help to get back up? How many friends could we make if we just stopped and helped? How many silly prejudices do we really have deep down?
I am writing this and hope I can make it clear that I don’t want any accolades about this. This was a blessing to me and I am thankful for the experience. I felt really good on that subsequent drive home and convicted as well. Don’t take your blessings for granted! Don’t be so caught up in the busyness of life that you drive right by a potential blessing for you as well as someone else!
May God convict us all of having a heart for people!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I was told by some friends when I turned 40 and again recently…something to the tune of “well when I turned 40 that’s when everything started to go down hill” :) . My reaction inside is to rebel against that. I know I am getting older than when I was first married but come on! Old? No way! I rebel and think I can still physically stay up with the best of them. I am pressing forward and who knows maybe the doctor is right and this stuff will actually help me feel and be better. :) Oh and by he way I got some great medicine for my knee too! Feels much better! :)
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I re-enlisted this last week. (Actually it is not technically due for extension until April, but I signed the paperwork and took my oath one more time.) It is something how time flies. This I know and if anyone looked back at my entries would see this is a reoccurring theme in much of my writing. Time moves on! I first joined the Colorado Air National Guard in 1987. When I write this it does not register in my mind that this year was a “long” time ago. It seems perfectly reasonable when I write or say “1987”. It seems in many ways like just a little while ago. Then again when I see how far I have come and the events that have been between that year and now and it truly is a while ago!
I re-enlisted for 6 more years. At the end of this extension this would make my time equal 29 years. I will be 50 years old and my two oldest children will be 23 and 21 years old. How can this be possible? Truly it hurts my brain to realize my babies will more than likely be on their own and potentially having there own families by then. By the way I am very proud of each of them and expect great things from them as they grow older.
The thoughts are many: This potentially could be the last time I extend my enlistment. This could also indicate a drastic change in my life when that occurs. I may have to go out and get a normal job! :) Whatever that is!
I am honored that I have been able to do this job for so long and still be contributing at a level that I think matters. It is sometimes very difficult to deal with many of the pressures, but I also realize that many have it so much worse than I will ever have it. I enjoy the security in the income and benefits that it has provided myself and my family. I am truly thankful and feel like I am blessed.
So much has changed were I work, over the years and some of it is good. However, some of the changes, I wonder. We have left behind, in my opinion some of the very positive things that we had years back. That subject is much to long and way to uninteresting for me to go into here. :)
I remember when we got the f-16’s. They were near new and it was so exciting, we had a different aircraft that simply did incredible things. We were now part of the f-16 community in the military and we were determined to be the best maintainers in that community. They are now, in the fighter aircraft world, old and have been used and used. We keep repairing, modifying, upgrading and using them today. Times have changed and it happened mostly when we were not looking. Then again that is how it normally goes, I suppose. While we were enjoying life, we aged, we left behind those young kids we used to be and traded them in for families and children of our own and it all happened so quickly. It is easy to feel old sometimes, when the people you are now working with many were born after you had been in several years already. Such is the circle of life, I suppose! :) I am very proud to have served with The 140th Wing of the Air National Guard. Best Air National Guard Unit in the World! I look forward to whatever the future holds for me in my career.
The good Lord has blessed me and I am thankful! Blessings of health, family, and career!
I wish for all who read this the same!
Monday, December 21, 2009
As I am sitting here a song that I like comes on and I can’t help but ponder how wonderful my life really is and has been.
“Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine
Quiet thought come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories,
I have always enjoyed this song that was made famous by Elvis Presley.
I have written many times and said it probably even more. Christmas is probably my favorite time with my family. The excitement that is generated from the kids is so much fun. One can’t help but get pulled in with them. Dwelling in the blessings of God and Family is wonderful! Of course, I have incredible memories of wonderful times past. Most of these memories involve my family! One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 90. It talks about how short life is and we are like a grass which in the morning sprouts anew and towards evening it fades and withers away. This theme is not foreign to other parts of the Bible, Old and New Testament. Jesus talked much about the shortness of life and the temporary place in which we now reside. This is not exactly a “pep” talk we are getting from the scripture. However, I do believe it is as if God is saying this is important! Listen! The fact is it is realistic. Life is so very short and I or probably “we” get so caught up in things that are not important in the grand scheme of our 70 or 80 years here on earth.
So I say lets live as if we knew the end was near! Because when we really get down to it, it is! What will you do with the precious time that you have left? What will your Christmas celebration look like? What will your plan for you and your family look like this next year? Ten years? Twenty years? Will you take that vacation you have been procrastinating because of your workaholic commitments at work? Will you spend the time with your children who when you looked away went from the precious six year old to a taller than you and probably stronger 16 year old?
Lots of questions, but only you can answer them and take action.
I wish all that read this a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3You turn man back into dust
And say, "Return, O children of men."
4For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
6In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.
7For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
8You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
9For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.
10As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
14O satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen [b]evil.
16Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.