Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So For Our Anniversary---

--we did something totally impromptu - Went to Columbia to the welcome-back celebration for the back-to-back NATIONAL CHAMPION Gamecocks! 14,000 people were there and it was roaring! (We did go out to eat at Carrabbas also.)

See-we really were there!

Team enters and walks around the arena - those on the front got to shake hands.

Ray Tanner speaking on the jumbotron. Michael Roth was behind him and put up rabbit ears a couple of times (good indication of the fun that team has had).

NOW Christian Walker's broken wrist is properly being taken care of!

Team on stage at the Colonial Center.

The USC president, the mayor, a state senator, the USC athletic director, Ray Tanner, and several of the players all spoke. A resolution that was read on the U.S. Senate floor by Sen. Lindsey Graham was also read.

It was an exciting event. Anyone not dressed in garnet and black looked out of place.

What a way to spend an anniversary!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two Recently Read Funnies:

From FB:

--Someone stole my mood ring. I don't know how I feel about that.

--Is it theologically incorrect to eat a Dunkin Donut with sprinkles?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Article about Romney

I'm not familiar with this website, but this analysis about Romney's Mormonism is food for deep thought. I linked to it through Dan Burrell's website, Whirled Views.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Note To Self:

Next time . . .when you buy a pint of blueberries, and put the groceries in the front seat, make sure the blueberry box is not in a place where it can fall open and all the berries run out between the two front seats, down by the emergency brake where it is about impossible to retrieve them all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kindergarten pics--

These are my children's pictures from kindergarten - the one on the left from 1996 and the one on the right from 1994. Both are favorite pics. Would love to go back if just for a day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In Honor . . .

. . .of my own faithful dad. . .

. . .and of Mike, the faithful dad of our two children.
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Comedy of Security Errors

Last night as I was leaving church, the neighbor called - Did I know why there might be a sheriff's car in front of our house?

Well, no, I didn't - except that we had had a thunderstorm, and the neighbor verified that we'd had a power blink. Which would trigger the alarm, which would cause the security company to call, which would cause them to call the sheriff's office if they did not get an answer. (Unanswered: why they didn't call my cell phone, which they are supposed to do.)

So I came home, and found two doors disturbed/locked differently than we usually do, and a note from the sheriff's officer in the front door, stating "We have checked your home and found it to be unsecured." What??!!!

After thinking about it, as well as getting the neighbor to help me walk through the house and check all the rooms and closets, I figured out what happened:

--ML went swimming in the afternoon, came in, and did not lock the sliding glass door behind her. She came through the closed vertical blinds instead of opening them like we usually do.

--Since the blinds were closed, I did not double-check that the sliding glass door was properly locked.

--Storm comes up after I'm gone; lightning strike triggers alarm.

--Alarm company calls house, no answer. (Still no explanation why they didn't call backup cell phone number.)

--Sheriff's deputy checks house, finds sliding glass door unlocked, therefore home is unsecured. Comes inside to check house. Locks door but does not insert the board in the track that we use as a secondary lock.

--Deputy checks house and exits through front door - thus causing front doorknob to be locked but deadbolt not locked.

I called the sheriff's office and talked with the deputy who checked our house. He was very helpful about the situation and not unhappy about having to make what was an unnecessary call. I am thankful for the reminder that we are protected by our sheriff and his staff.

p.s. There was no one under the beds either.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Little Nostalgia--

Before doing ML's birthday post, I scanned in a lot of pictures from the kids' childhood. So there may be several nostalgia posts over the next few weeks. But here are a few for tonight:

The night of Andrew's kindergarten graduation. The one thing he didn't like about K-5 was "We have to write our letters and numbers."
Since this is ML's birthday month, here is a pic. of a birthday party we had once - Looks like about age 5. Her best friend (still) Alicia is on the left, Andrew on the right, and the two other children lived across the street for awhile. They were only temporary there and we hated it when they moved away, because they were from a nice family and also there weren't many children in our neighborhood. Plus they had a girl! (The only other children were boys. Nice boys, just nobody for ML.)
She may have been sick here. She's snuggled under everybody's favorite patchwork velour blanket. Some day our kids will fight over which one gets that blanket.
This was another birthday party - I think at Rhoda's house in IL. I love the look of excitement on ML's face.
Vacation at Smokehole Caverns, WV. We had such a sweet time on that trip. Kids begged to sleep in the loft, but the railing wasn't very compact, and we were concerned that ML in particular might fall through. So they had to sleep on the main floor. So boring. But they could climb to their hearts' content out here on the porch.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Remember. .

In one of his few lucid moments between getting up from a day's sleep, and leaving for twelve hours on the job, Mike mentioned that someone at work had a trivia question last night about the twelve apostles, and did I know if so-and-so was an apostle or not?

Instantly I mentally sang through the list: "There were twelve disciples, Jesus called to help him, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John; Philip, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon, Judas, and Bartholomew!" And yes, the man in question was on the list.

Then, for good measure, I checked to make sure that I can still sing the books of the Bible through as well - but will spare the reader of this blog that listing as well. (The minor prophets, however, are almost too much to resist.)

So, Miss Clara, even though you've gone on to heaven and can't read this (I can still see your big smile, the kind that made your eyes "disappear," and your white hair with the five pincurls at the nape of your neck), and even though it's been more than forty years since you happily sang these songs over and over with class after class, your teaching and legacy live on!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Message to Anyone Reading This: God is Real!

Newspaper link to final column.

About 10 years ago, a retired pastor, Jack Dean, was hired at our Christian high school and quickly became a much-loved Bible teacher. The age difference was never a problem, because the students knew that he truly cared about them. During his five-year tenure, Pastor Dean’s constant theme to his students was “God is real.” He told me, earnestly, many times, “I just want them to realize that God is not a distant being, off in the distance, but that God is their personal God, who loves them, wants to know them and cares deeply about every aspect of their lives.”

After unexpected medical difficulties on Sunday, Pastor Dean passed away on Wednesday of this week. He is now experiencing fully what he preached and taught for so long. And, in this final Faith and Values column, I would like to address that same message:

To the young single mother who is struggling, financially and emotionally, to rear a child alone;

To the man who has spent his entire life working only for financial gain, detached from all else, and now is wondering if all that effort was worth the cost;

To the lonely person who is turning to alcohol to drown out troubles and sorrows;

To the older person who realizes that life is short, and that he ought to be thinking about what will happen after death, but it is easier just not to face that topic right now;

To the person who has picked up this paper at a fast-food restaurant, who is facing a huge difficulty and isn’t sure how to proceed;

To the person who has said his or her entire life, “Of course I am a Christian,” but down deep knows that he isn’t really sure what that means;

To the person using this paper to line a box, who happens to read it as she contemplates a big problem in her life;

To the homeless person who may be using this paper as a blanket under a bridge, and whose eyes happen to alight on this column;

To the unnamed person with the unnamed need:

To all of the above, and to anyone else, here is the message: God is real. He has revealed Himself in the pages of his word, the Bible, and if you will open it up, and study the miracle of how the Bible came to be, and how God sent His son for our redemption from sin, you will find hope. God is eager to fill the need in the heart of the person who is truly searching for him. Come to him in humility and ready to accept his gift of salvation and true spiritual growth. If he could speak to you in person, Mr. Dean would say the same thing.

Writing this column during the past year has been a privilege, one that I regret to see end. Thank you very much to Kylie, Charmaine, and the editorial staff of the Independent Mail, and also to those of you who have faithfully read these columns. May God bless you, the reader, as you seek to find the true God of the universe, the God who is real.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Precious In the Sight of the Lord"

Tomorrow we will go to a funeral for a man with whom I taught (right across the hall) for five years. That short sentence says so little about Pastor Jack Dean. When he took the Bible position at our school, I think more than a few of us wondered, not knowing him at all, if he would do OK - after all, he was in his late 60s at the time, and high schoolers can have a lot of fire and highjinks. We needn't have worried. Pastor Dean could hold his own and then some. He couldn't work a computer at all. (I know - I bailed him out many times.) But he could greatly impact the lives of young people.

Those former students have been all over Facebook the past few days, repeating the many things he taught them - the most common of which was "God is real, young people." He told me many times how he really wanted them to get that message if they didn't get anything else.

He made them presents in his woodworking shop. He had them to his home for parties. Imagine! Thirty high schoolers from one Bible class (a particularly rambunctious group - our son was one of the ringleaders), and they all showed up because nobody wanted to miss a party at the Deans' home. (His wife is a saint.) He prayed for them. He loved them.

Pastor and Mrs. Dean have prayed, every morning, for our own two for a number of years. That means more to me than anything.

A week ago at this time, Pastor Dean was fine with no overriding health problems. Now he is in heaven. We are a little poorer down here on earth, as a giant example of the faith has gone home. His example will be greatly missed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Twenty Years?

How quickly we went from this. . .
to this (how can you resist that smile?)
to this (my all-time favorite picture because it captures her personality so well)
to this (with her brother, first day of ninth grade)
to. . . . .this. . . !!!
Happy 20th birthday to my very, very beloved daughter!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Where Have the Years Gone?

This morning I went out for a couple of things and stopped at a yard sale. Two children, one riding a scooter and the other running around, said "Hey, do you want a glass of lemonade?" I told them sure, and the boy (a couple of years older than the girl) carefully scooped out a glass of ice and filled it with some very good lemonade from a gallon jug. He got a little confused when I offered him a quarter, two dimes, and a nickel rather than two quarters but he quickly figured it out.

Then I looked at the items for sale. Among other games was a nice set of Memory cards, some Play-Doh items, and a set of bendable wires (we would have called them pipe cleaners) that were large, many-colored, and designed for art projects. Fifteen years ago I would have snapped up all of that for two inquisitive children the same ages as the two who were selling the lemonade.

And today is the last day that I will have any teenagers. Where have the years gone?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nice Pic.

My lovely little foreign exchange student in the senior class created this picture and posted it on FB - I saved it and am copying it. Don't even remember when this was taken, but I think one day when we celebrated a birthday during sponsor time. She is on the front left.