Monday, October 12, 2015

This House shall pass away.

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Deuteronomy 6:6-7

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

The homes I grew up in as a child are no more. The effects of fire and tornados, in a moment all you remember can be transformed to rubble and cinders. It is the way of things that the dwellings of this world are very impermanent. Even the places of my Wife's homeland while old are still impermanent they will eventually pass away and be ash, dust and rust.

What are the things that last? Are we to be confounded in our lives that everything will pass away and be as nothing? I do not think so. There is one thing that is eternal in this existence. That is our  soul and the soul's of those we know. They are made to be eternal, fulling the purpose of all life, to exist in Eternity with a Loving God. In this knowledge what are we to focus on building? What will have lasting effect 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 years from now? The only thing we can leave to eternity is, if those around us see God in our lives. In seeing God, if they make the decision to trust His plan and accept that Jesus Christ suffered and died so they can be reconciled with God. Fulfilling God's plan for eternity dwelling together forever in His presence.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 is a command given to parents to focus on the things that matter. To spend time telling our children of God and His love. To make it the center of our home. To make it the center of our travels. To be the first thing taught in the morning and the last thing to be taught at the ending of the day. We fail at this in our modern society. So often focusing on the things that fade and rot away. While neglecting the eternal, the souls of our own Children.

As I think on the places where I lived, all gone now, I recall the things that remain. The moments with my parents and grandparents. The times in church, the friends I knew the days and accomplishments of school. Above all I recall the night I lay alone on my bed in fear of dying, trusting Jesus to come into my heart. Not knowing all that meant at the time but it being the start of a journey that has brought me here to this place and will carry my on into eternity. These are the things that matter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Grand Sable Dunes

 

Grand Sable Dunes Log Slide

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We recently traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. One of the most spectacular sights is Log Slide of the Grand Sable Dunes.  It is near a city called Grand Marais.  This is just a spectacular bit of scenery. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Disappointment (A cautionary tale of names)

When you marry outside of the United States many countries require that a person provide proof of singleness. This is usually some form of official document that is a certified affidavit of singleness. In the case of some one with a prior marriage I believe a divorce decree is required to obtain the document.

When I married my wife I required this document, there is a process that China will accept where by you create a notarized affidavit, have it sent to the state’s secretary of state, have it sealed and then send it to the nearest Chinese Consulate to have it sealed by the Chinese government. So I traveled to China with this very document in hand thinking well I'm ahead of the game, yay.

My fiancé’s and I traveled to the local provinces' main city (sort of like the state capital) to submit our paper work.  After a lot of discussion in Chinese the young woman that was the local bureaucrat decided that since my passport had my full name including my middle name while my affidavit only had my first and last name, the affidavit and the passport were not for the same person.  Hence my Wife to be and I could not receive our marriage paper work…..    

As I watched the thunderstorm developing on my beautiful fiancé’s face I was thinking okay who do we appeal this to..  She was thinking “I’m going to marry an idiot".  Okay take a note here, in China the local desk clerk pretty much makes the rule and going to the next higher authority seems to really not be something that people do.  So we walked outside and my Fiancé tells me you need to fix this right now.  Call your consulate and make them fix this.  And that was the course of action we would take and her face was set like flint.

Did I mention that we were getting married around Christmas.  I recommend against this especially in the States.  But at least in some foreign countries things are open.  However the US consulate was not one of them, sigh…..   After some calls with our friends and them getting on the consulate web site we had a plan and an appointment we would fly to the Consulate and get the right papers unfortunately it would be after the new year and our dreams of tax refunds were dashed (later I discovered that was the most infuriating thing for Nancy). Well back to our friends house. 

Traveling in a taxi back to the bus station with my Fiancé, face of flint, frozen anger, we decided to eat.  She walks in a restaurant places an order and sits down glaring..  I tell her you really need to eat, “No”.  Come on dear you really should eat your need your strength.  At this point she looks at me a hint of a smile cracking her stoney demeanor and announces.  “Disappointment is my FOOD!”..  

After that things were alright.  Nancy did become my wife, when we returned with the new documents with my full name everything proceeded nicely.  Interestingly when we had lunch at the same restaurant the works remembered us and remarked that she looked much happier this time.  This was not the end of our battles with local bureaucrats and faces of flint but we still forge ahead together.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Union Pacific 6944

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Here is a photograph of the newly restored Union Pacific 6944 at the St. Louis Transportation Museum.  It looks like it had just been there a short time as it is still on the track that comes of the main line which runs by the Museum.  This is one of the largest diesel electric locomotives ever made.  It has two diesel engines on a single deck that appears to be about double the length of most trains.  This locomotive after it’s restoration looks great.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Christ is Risen

The tomb is empty!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

You robbed my cradle

My wife and I are about 14 years apart. I waited till I was 44 years old to marry. I now realize I was waiting for my wife to get a bit older.


My wife is from China and while she speaks very good english as with most people who speak english as a second language she does not know a lot of idioms. While taking either an ESL lesson or some study on the internet she learned the idiom about robbing the cradle.


So one day she looks at me very serious and says "You robbed my cradle!!" :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Precious Pearl

A Precious Pearl

A fierce Dragon
A stubborn Stone
Is my precious pearl
A mountain Stream
A feast in the Desert
Is my precious pearl
A book of Wisdom
A high Shelter
Is my precious pearl
Her hair is like the night
Her eyes like sun kissed waves
Her lips are spring time berries
Her arms a refuge for the weary
My love is a Precious Pearl

Gifts of God

A person from my Facebook friends Don Carson posted this question.

 Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

Here is my answer, I may have gotten carried a little bit away.

Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

This is an interesting question that has caused me to reflect some on the nature of God and the nature of Man as well as the relationship between the two.

The question can be approached from a few different interpretations.

One interpretation would probably be a more odd way of looking at it than you  planed.  But if we approach the result of God in our hearts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit  it is for Salvation and the power to live in Grace from that point on.  And if we approach the thought of the Gifts of God as the things He brings into our lives we can see that those Gifts can not take the place of Salvation and Grace.  We see the example of the Hebrew Nation at various times living in captivity pre and post David.  They would bring great blessing and gifts to those nations and the people would receive gifts and blessings but they did not receive Salvation.  For this discussion we will follow the principle that Salvation is only via the Messiah and those prior to the Cross lived by faith looking forward just as we live by faith looking backwards.  We can also see this in the New Testament in the person of Judas.  He received the Gifts of God but it did not take the place of God in his heart. 

I know that this approach to the question is most likely backward from the intent but that is what came into my mind first.

Lets look at an interpretation that is probably more in line with how most others would view the question.  That is do Gifts from God Come in to our life that will take the Focus from God and turn it to the Gift.  We will once again consider Gifts to be those blessings that we interpret as coming from God.  And here is where the nature of man enters into the picture and where I will take a bit of a contrary view.  My conjecture is that we interpret things as blessings from God when it is actually our desires, wants, greeds, manipulations, bargaining, and such that has colored the event.  That when those things come in to our life and they pull the focus from God, compete in our Heart so to speak for His place. those things did not come from God.  They came from us.

Take a look at Lazarus the one with the sisters Mary and Martha not the beggar.  And realize that the gift that Jesus brought into their lives was sickness and death.  Jesus has healed others at a distance prior to this.  He purposely delays His departure.  Lazarus, Mary, and Martha considered Him the Messiah the One that was to come the Son of God.  Yet He allowed Lazarus to die, this is not something we would ever think of as a Gift but it was.  It was a matter of their interpretation prior to the full revelation of God’s plan.

So, with that view we must be diligent about what is entering into our lives and ask is this for the Glory of God or for my glory.  Is this the leadership of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the whole of Scripture and sound advice of those grounded in the Word of God.  Have I sought the answer to this in Prayer with an open heart. Have I seen confirmation to Prayers that are in line with sound Biblical understanding.  Or is this what I want is it what I desire.  Is it of God.

Now the concept of the Gifts being the Gifts of the Spirit are a matter I will leave to someone else to consider..

Hello World

Hello World: Just to let you know if you happen to look over at the flicker you will see that having kids certainly slows things down..