Monday, September 29, 2008

First Fall Rain

Ninety-three degrees outside, and it's the first Fall rain. That is life in the high desert. Soul restoration, baby! Wild, crazy weather is one of the great plusses of living here.

You can't see anything unless you click to enlarge this one!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Driving Boxes and Having The Blahs

Didn't much feel like getting out of bed today. I have moments when everything feels negative. Tires spinning without traction all week. At work nothing is clicking. I have deadlines that I'm behind on. A kitchen table that is piled high with mail. A couch piled high with laundry (which, at least, is clean!). And I have to drive a van all week.

When I said, "There goes my nice neat box," I wasn't expecting to be driving a box the following day. Went to the rental car place after having reserved my economy car over the phone. At the airport they advised me that all they had left were vans. I proceeded to stop by all of the other rental car places at the airport, but none had any cars left. So, I'm driving this thing to the concert tonight.

I'm expecting that hanging out with Hailey, an awesome concert, and a day off will restore some joyful perspective.

"For indeed, while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life."
2 Cor. 5:4

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Providence, Serendipity, and Getting A Rental Car

There goes my nice neat box. Tomorrow Hailey and I head out to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (The name confuses me; how do they power up those big screens, small microphones and loud musical instruments?) for the Third Clay Foot Tour (Third Day, Jars of Clay and Switchfoot). But today, as I chugged up the steep grade to my house, my car blew up.

By God’s grace I was able to drive it into a gas station and call for a tow. Furthermore, my daughter’s school bus was late, so she was coming up the hill as the tow truck inched past her and her mom, my car proudly displayed. So her mom drove me home and offered to drive me to the airport.

No, I’m not flying into the concert. Where I live there is one car rental place. And they are out of cars. All three of them. So, it’s down to the airport to rent a car.

I’d already made plans to pull Hailey out of school. I’ve got the hotel reservations. I’ve Googled the directions. All the boxes that I can control I’ve taken care of.

I keep telling myself to get perspective, take a deep breath. This is not a big thing. Frustrating though, as we’ve had these tickets for half-a-year.

God’s timing is funny. He allowed my car to explode TODAY. But the bus was late so I got a ride. There are no cars for rent here. But Hailey’s mom’s willing to drive the 40 minutes to the airport. Gracious offer, and I’ll take it. Emotionally though, that’s 38 minutes longer than our usual conversations. Now I wait.

Will I be able to get a rental car? Will I get a ride down the hill? Will scientists agree on global warming? I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book of Martyrs-Meanwhile Ahmadinejad Attends U.N.

While I sit at my desk drinking my coffee, eating my Cheerios and listening to my music, one of my brothers sits on death row in Iran. His crime? Converting of course. I applaud President Bush for recognizing the regime and Ahmadinejad as evil, and not giving him private audience. The bigger picture though:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kids'll Be Kids

Even though every trail had signs with pictures of children exploding into the air---and even though every one of those signs had warnings about strong heat and acid content.....The questions remained. Can I touch it? Can I walk on it? Can I swim in it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hailey for President; Yes, I REALLY Said That-Plus, Palin-Mania

So, Hailey asked me if I would vote for her for President of the U.S.A. if she ran (when she's older, of course). I hemmed and hawed, and said (wait for it), "I'm not sure. Probably not."

What kind of father would say such a thing? Gads! As Hailey told me, "Dad, aren't you supposed to say 'You can do anything you put your mind to'? Truth is, there's still some part of me that's uncomfortable with a woman in the role of President, or Prime Minister. I'm not saying that it's a good thing, or a right thing. It just happens to be where I'm at currently.

Ironically, the following day, McCain chose his running mate. Tonight, I went to get a burger at John's Place. The vivacious co-ed that took my order said, "People keep telling me that I look like Sarah Palin." Then she kept talking about Sarah Palin, and the elections, and her beliefs....Meanwhile, the waitress walks by (en route to a customer) and says, "Do you like Sarah Palin?" I nodded, or said yes, or something and she says, "I really like her....."

I've never seen anything like it. Palin-mania is truly everywhere. Amazing phenomena. That's a good thing for Hailey. She'll have a much better chance of getting into office now....even if her dad doesn't vote for her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Horrific Train Wreck

Their lights alternating blue, red, blue, red; a line of police cars flew down the side of the freeway. Hours earlier I sat with my dad in the hospital (for an unrelated incident) and heard the head nurse telling the other nurses to be ready, that surgeons and specialists were all on their way. Trying to get to the freeway, I saw at least five ambulances---each one leaving the scene was being replaced by one taking its place. KNX has pictures and full coverage.
Say your prayers for the people of Los Angeles, Simi Valley and Moorpark tonight, and throughout the week. As I write this they are still recovering people from the scene. At least 10 dead, 100 wounded.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Piano-(oh,oh,oh)-Show Me Photo Challenge

My grandfather passed away somewhere around my 5th year of life. I have no memories of him. He left me this music box. It has been through a lot. When you are a kindergartner; you don't take real good care of stuff. Try as you might. So it's been dropped once or twice, and taken some bangs and bruises along the way. One of the legs is cracked and glued. The lid (What do you call the top of a piano?)has a decent crack in it too. Still cranks out a tune though.

Can you guess its real purpose? Hint: How do you fit a Camel into a piano? Can you tell where the matches go? When you lift the lid, (with it wound up), it plays a tune that my sister and I sing along with. It goes like this: Piano, piano, pi-a-a-a-noooo....

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Show Me Your....Photo Challenge: Mailboxes

Robert is challenging us to take pics of normal, everyday, household views and things. Today's challenge is: My mailbox. I should of known that taking a challenge from a guy that lay's in the middle of his street to get a picture could provoke similar wierd looks and things from my neighbors. WHAT? You've never seen people taking myriad shots of their mailboxes before? Here are my two choices.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Flying Out Above the Abyss-Photo Challenge

Flying out above the abyss,
We push the envelope.
Leaning full into emptiness,
Throwing our full weight into the experience.
Full-on adrenaline rush,
Blood pumping, air thumping,
We soar out past complacency,
To fullness of life.

To read what the rest of the players wrote, visit

Yellowstone-Flowers; Guest Pics by Hailey

Photo by Hailey

Photo by Hailey

Monday, September 01, 2008

Politics and Platitudes: A Provoked and Passionate Response

I bristle easily. There are situations which provoke in me a defensive posture; flaring of the nostrils, passionate response, narrow minded, narrowed focus.

Things like bad hermeneutics, bad theology, inconsistent political viewpoints. I guess that if I didn't feel strongly about my opinions I wouldn't be blogging. In the last couple of days I've gotten into heated discussions with three people. I almost got thrown out of my neighbor's house.

He would probably consider himself a Republican and a conservative. At dinner, he made a comment about how people who make a lot of money should be heavily taxed. Because, he said, they're rich and can afford it. Not that I'm going to change anytime soon.....but it's probably not ideal to call your neighbor a Socialist while you're having dinner at his table.

I get in trouble at bible studies too. I go to the study telling myself, "I. Will. Not. Talk." I'll just listen and lend support. Then, somebody will make a comment such as, "All Jews will go to Heaven because they're the Chosen People." Ooohhh noooo, here I go.

Another thing that bothers me are false and easy platitudes. For example, when I was going through the worst of my divorce, I was ready to punch the next person that said to me, " God will give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Yes, they meant well---but at the time it felt empty and didn't touch my hurt, nor my heart.

Which gives me pause to think. How can I graciously respond? How do I positively provoke?
I've grown less abrasive and more compassionate. But still have a ways to go. I guess I need to pray. Because, after all, "Prayer Works."**

**Although it may not work the way you think it should. But does work according to a loving Sovereign God who governs the Universe according to His plans.