Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Me Monday (NMM) - 2nd Week

I certainly did not get miffed when I found out Friday evening that this Sunday’s sermon only needed to be 10 minutes long. Plans had changed, why could that bother me? Where oh where has my maturity gone? I kept a straight face though….

There is no way that I would love Rockstar Roasted Coffe so much. Nor could I possibly have discovered how to order Rockstar Roasted Coffee by the case. How can that taste so good? Yum yum!

It was not me who was reveling in the snow covering. It was not me who saw several people frown when I let out the secret that I love the snow and near blizzard conditions here in wonderful Wyoming. Nope.

I would never have forgotten to put the kitchen trash up off the floor, so that our young dog, Mocha, could have had a great time. Oh, had I done that, he would have decorated the entire kitchen and living room in true doggy fashion, trash everywhere. He would have then had a feast.

I, as a grown man, would never get all goo-goo awed about putting e-Sword (a Bible program) on my new cell phone. Nor could it have been me that had ordered 3 phones in the last few months, one right after the other, to finally get the right phone to run the program. Then the first three phones would have had to be returned, to finally get a compatible phone. Who could be so backward as to not read the requirements to run the program?

Of course I would never, never get into a friendly (though long) argument with a sales person on the phone over a doctrinal issue. Oh my, how could I?

It could not have been me who froze up momentarily when a family in the community asked me to perform the funeral ceremony. Not me who had to paste a neutral expression on my face and put iron control over my voice when they told me about the passing of their for a 16 month old baby, Gage Fyffe. This is one of those honors that hurts the heart. How will I be able to speak, especially given my continual thinking of Emmanuel’s health issues, as I speak words of comfort to the young parents.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sunrise in Wyoming

My bride and I went out to view the sunrise over the Big Horn mountains while parked high atop Rattlesnake Ridge. We had made the decision to have an early breakfast and then go watch the sunrise while getting ready for bed the night before. What was funny is that I kept waking up, checking the clock, wondering when it would finally be time to get up – because I was actually excited – looking forward to the event.

Reminds me of times past waiting for the clock to move. There is a built in element of anxiousness while waiting for your birthday or time to open gifts at Christmas. But for me, the night before my dad was going to take me fishing or hunting resulted in far more sleepless nights. Much anticipated were those long journeys up to the old home place for those once or twice a year vacations, where we would fish and hunt in the deep woods.

The old folks, grandma and grandpa, at that time, still lived in the log cabin where my dad was born. You could see the way they long ago had connected the two structures, if you studied the construction. At some point long ago, they had decided to place a single roof over the living quarters and the kitchen structure. For some reason, these two sections were generally kept separate. Maybe it was considered risky to have a single roof over both living and cooking quarters, just in case the wood burning cook stove did not behave itself.

If you know where to look, you can still find that log home in Lick Creed Community, Adair Township, District Number 6. That is the way the birth place is listed on my Dad’s official birth record, where the house still stands. Sadly there is not a family living there anymore. Hunters or maybe city folk own it, and it is maintained, though the outbuildings are mostly long gone.

But I love to return and stand there every chance I get, about every 10 years or so. As nostalgia, it is great. As a reminder that you can never go back, not so good. We’ve moved around a lot, mostly job related. Occasionally we get a chance to travel through some place we used to live, and drive by some house still brimming with memories. But it is just not the same, though I would still try to make it so.

At the old home place for example, the secret hiding place for the fishing spear (gig) – is empty. The old barn is gone. The outhouse is still there though. The pile of ashes has almost disappeared. Visible from the side yard, the lower acreage that my dad ploughed with a team of horses remains. Nearby, the old wagon trail with ruts scaring the ground, remains from a much earlier time. Why do I yearn for such things, with an aching heart?

Were times really easier at an earlier time or is it just self deception? Maybe we set in place a filter or unconsciously establish a region of selective memory. However, if there were that many good things about a past time, will I some day view the current time with such favor? If so, might I somehow filter or select so that the present time could currently be lived as I will remember it in a decade?

People say I tend to look at the world through rose colored glasses. I do not mind this observation. Consider Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Isn’t this reason enough to celebrate? How about in First John 3:1a “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” That is love indeed, that the creator of the universe would let us be fam.

Then again, don’t forget the sunrise – which started all this meandering. A verse that relates can be found in Matthew 13:42 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” This is one thing to pray about as you watch the sun clear the horizon in a pristine view like the Big Horns. Oh to be truly righteous – to have the sense of forgiveness that God has so freely given to those who love him and obey his commandments. Watch the sunrise – soon. See if you feel that renewed feeling of hope, with the coming of a new day. I look forward to each new day – and look to find the good things about it, to encourage all that I can, to spread the good news to everyone that I meet and most of all to be a blessing. Is that too much burden to put on the rising of a new sun, the dawning of a new day?

Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”. May the Lord grant you a time of refreshing like this!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not Me Monday (First Attempt!)
Below is my first ever "Not Me Monday" post. This is a great idea from MckMama's Blog ( as suggested by my beautiful daughter, Jessica - Intense Blessings ( ). Enjoy!
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It could not have been me, weeping in front of the church. No way. Just because a tender hearted man came up during the invitation. He was thankful that his daughter who was in labor made it through the blizzard to the hospital, with 30 minutes to spare. Had I really cried, it would have been because I was thinking about Emmanuel.

Then again, there was no way that I could not find a clock to watch while I preached. Not me. No way that I would walk back to my seat while preaching to rifle through my things to find cell phone to act as a pocket watch. Not me, no. People would have laughed (and rightfully so).

It was not me, not at all, who got distracted at my nearly 5 month old grandson Emmanuel while trying to preach. No way that I had to re-start the sermon – such that everyone noticed. But where did that good humored laughter come from anyway. :).

There is no way that I am fretting over leadership changes at church. Just because I report to the leadership, why would I worry? Ha! The scripture is quite clear “…Do not Fret…” (Psalms 37:8) means it could not have been me, no, not at all, fretting over something over which I have no control. I must have been trusting in God instead.

And what would an old guy like me be doing taking a small baby to the doctor? It was not me who proudly carried in a small baby, along with my bride of 31 years into the waiting room. Why would I dare people with my gaze – to ask – go ahead and ask – who is this beautiful precious baby? Would I really go to all his doctor visits, with or without his mom, just because he is my grandson? No way!

Right there off Main Street, it was not me at all that got stuck in the snow. How could a seasoned snow veteran try to run over a drift, when the visibility was only ½ block? Not me, no – who then had to have my 20 year old son Jonathan push the van. Um-um.

It simply was not me who had to put our 12 year old Chihuahua, Sami, to sleep. Not me. Not me trying to steer the car through watery eyes, on his last ride to the vet. Not me who could barely walk in the front door, carrying the much-loved old dog. No way that I could not look anyone in the eye and had to leave the room quickly, lest anyone see how upset I was. I would never do that.
With no discernible vacation since Thanksgiving 2007 (over a year ago!!) we decided to take a couple of days off. I know, driving to Thermopolis is pretty lame, but we really need to stay close to Worland, just in case :). Emmanuel seems to be doing well. He has not had any crises. Further, his immune system seems to be excellent having thrown off 3 colds since his birth, nearly 5 months ago.

There is someone to pray for - a 2 year old boy, Gage Fyffe is near death. He has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. His family has gathered at the hospital. Please remember to pray for them. With Emmanuel's SCD (Sickle Cell Disease) looming - sufferings of others are more keenly felt.

I am trying to figure out this "Not Me Monday" post. I think I can do the post, but not sure how to establish a link to the site. My dear daughter Jessica ( is doing so well with all of this and has encouraged me to join. We shall see!

So here we are enjoying the hospitality of a hotel in Thermop (as the locals call it). As we were driving up to the front door, right beside the door is a grassy yard - and on that yard are three deer - enjoying a snack. The folks in the restaurant were enjoying watching the deer as well. They are beautiful majestic creatures.

May God bless you in your studies, as you strive to become closer to him in every way. I'm trying to learn to stay on the altar per Romans 12:1-2 where our very bodies are to become a living sacrifice. I'm also trying to learn to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul and mind. Jesus explained this is the most important command (Mt 22:37; Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27). These verses are quoted from Dt 6:5. The passage Dt 6:4-6 comprise the "Shema Yisrael" or "Hear O Israel" which is quoted twice daily I believe, as part of the Jewish faith. I've been trying to learn better how to obey this command of Jesus - to truly love God in this way. I know how to love him with all my mind and all my heart. But how do I love him with all my soul? The thought here is that the soul is the very essence of the person. The life force - that which makes you - you. That which the Lord God will require of you some day. Love him that way - with your life, if need be. Does that make sense?

Have a blessed day!