Friday, December 30, 2011

Nice Day at the Beach

I can certainly understand why so many people from Canada, New York or anywhere it is cold and snowing love to come down here and spend the winter. Today's weather was absolutely perfect. It started in the low 60's and ended in the upper 70's with hardly a cloud in the sky. We went to Starbucks early in the morning and then had lunch. After lunch I ran for an hour. It was great weather to run in, and running down las olas blvd looking at all the yachts and then along the beach was a lot of fun.

Then this afternoon we all went to the beach for an hour or so. It was very warm and the water wasn't real cold. No, I didn't swim, but I did walk down in it for a little while. But just sitting on the beach, relaxing and talking with all the kids was a lot of fun. Then we came back and went out for a good dinner at J Alexander's. It's one of my favorite spots here and I always enjoy dinner there.

We had an interesting conversation about how each of us has different callings on our lives, and we work in different mission fields. I know that Sheryl and my calling at this stage in our lives is sitting people free to move into their destiny. We do that all the time in Sozo, and it's our main focus in the school of ministry also. Sean's calling right now is in the professional world. Jennifer's mission field is in the hospital. None of these are more spiritual than the other. What is right for me would be completely wrong for Jennifer or Sean.

It's all about releasing the Presence of God wherever we may be. It's about bring the Kingdom of heaven into the hospital, or a business meeting. It's about bringing freedom wherever you happen to be. No one will see the true Jesus unless they see Him through us. Religion won't cut it any more. Instead we have to be real. Real love from real people who know and reflect the real God. That's what the world needs and is looking for.

I wish we could undo the years and years of "This job is spiritual, and this one isn't." I want everything that I do to be spiritual; and nothing that I do to be religious. Religion continues to kill Christians. Religion had to be an invention of The enemy's to keep believers working so hard that they would miss the real reason they are here. I know that I really just want to live life and let ministry happen. I'm not sure that I am there yet. But I know that I am closer to doing it right than I have ever been before. This year I want to get even closer.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sunny South Florida

When we left Peachtree City this morning, the temperature showing outside was 29.  This afternoon in Ft Lauderdale it was 78.  What a difference a 11 hour drive makes.  Yes, it only took us 11 hours to get here, and that was with three stops.  It was an easy drive, just a long one.  Hopefully it won’t be any harder going back next week.  It was so god to be able to see Jennifer, Sean, Adair and Meleah.  I now feel that Christmas is complete.  Last year we were all together.  This year Sheryl and I had to travel about 9,000 miles to see them all.  What a difference a year makes.  We are looking forward to spending time with them these next few days.  We have great weather for the week.  It looks like plenty of sun and high 70’s.  That and all the family should make for a great few days.

Sheryl and I did get to talk and do some planning for the New Year.  We looked at different areas of our lives, and talked about the focus for 2012.  We didn’t make “resolutions”, but we did set some measurable and achievable goals in many areas.  I believe that this will help us as we prioritize things during the year.  It really is hard to believe that there are only two more days in 2011.  2012, I never even dreamed of living in this year.  It seems that my earlier dreams in life stopped in 2007, when I was scheduled to retire with Delta.  Then came early retirement in 2003 and 2007 really meant nothing.  I have dreams, lots of them, but I realize that even as I have them, I am living them.  When you are my age, you don’t have time to let them sit.  You have to think and act, almost simultaneously.  That is hard for some people, but I find it rather easy.  I guess it is from all my training as a pilot.  You make decisions in life, act on them, and move on.  You really don’t have time to stop and stay in one place, even if you are young.  Life is just too short. 

We will make mistakes; sometimes they are very costly and might hurt others.  The key is to always try to be aware of unintended consequences to our actions, and learn for our mistakes and the mistakes of others.  When we make them, as we all will, we have to be ready to quickly move on as if we hadn’t made them.  If we try to put others in the forefront, then we will minimize the mistakes we make.  I know that I have made many mistakes over the years.  Some were my fault, and some weren’t.  But I have to keep living life going forward, and take the consequences when they come.  Thankfully, God’s grace is sufficient to carry me through the hard times, and to lead me into the good times.

Anyway, I digress.  2012 is going to be a year of great change in the world.  You don’t have to be prophetic to see this.  We can’t stand on the things of this world for our security.  Many of these will shake, crumble and fail.  We have to be the answer for many.  Our love, faith and fearlessness will draw others into our sphere of influence.  Then we can help them understand where their true security lies.  This is a great time to be alive, and I truly believe that this next year will see revival begin to break out in small pockets through out the United States. It’s already started and those who are looking, like Simeon and Anna of old, can see it already.  My advice to you who are reading: get ready.  A few years ago, we were told by the prophets to position ourselves for the next move of God.  Hopefully we are positioned where God wants us.  If we are we can be used most effectively.  That’s my real goal.  What’s yours?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nine Mile Run

As I look back on the past two years, especially since Julia’s death, I realize that probably one of the biggest things that has taken a hit in my life even after my marriage to Sheryl has been my physical fitness.  Some of it can be attributed to my busy schedule and the fact that I really didn’t have time, but I always made time before.  Some of it could be attributed to the grief that I was going through, but that has been almost two years, and in every other area, I have received great healing.  Even after my marriage, it has been hard to get motivated to really go out and run.  I’ve tried a number of times, and it hasn’t really worked.  It’s like I have been in a dead zone as far as training and fitness went,

Because of that, I have continued to have trouble maintaining or losing weight.  I have slowly gained weight over time and that makes it even harder to get motivated.  But I think that I am finally turning the corner.  I have decided to train for another marathon.  This will be my 15th if I finish it.  I plan to finish it and I have finished everyone that I have run.  So, I have to seriously get into the grove, and quickly.  The marathon is the Georgia Marathon here in Atlanta.  It runs on Sunday March 18, 2012.  I have about 12 weeks to complete my training.  That should be enough based on what I did today.  Last week I ran a 10K course for my long run and felt good.  Today I ran probably the longest run that I have run in over two years.  I completed 9 miles and I felt pretty good doing it.  Sure, it was slower than I liked, but I am carrying some extra weight right now.  As the weight comes of, the time will increase, running should help the weight to come off faster.

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions, but at the same time I believe that the week between Christmas and New Year is a great time to evaluate where you are in all phases of life.  As I spend time this week, I really want to look at a few things.  Sheryl and I have basically just been living on the go, trying to stay ahead.  I want us to be ahead of our schedule and be proactive about what we do.  So, maybe during our drive down to Ft Lauderdale we can come up with some ideas about how to do that.

There is so much that we want to do, but in order to do it all, we have to prioritize all the things we do.  That takes time and thought; hopefully we can put the thought in during the time we have before things really get started up again.  The drive will be a good time to do it.  I want to be able to focus on the kids once we get down there. The weather looks great, and it is going to be great to be able to run and walk in the nice south Florida weather.

So, I guess the question is really how to begin to “train” in all phases of life the way that I started training for the Marathon.  It’s all about dreams and goals.  Dreams will never be realized if you don’t match them with some measurable and achievable goals.  Have fun as you begin to visualize all you can do in the next year.  There is no limit to what we as believers can accomplish if we prioritize and focus on the main things.

It Was a Great Christmas!

What makes a good Christmas?  When I was little, I thought it depended on whether or not I got what I wanted from Santa.  Then as I got older I knew it was a good Christmas when I was able to spend time with my friends and I got the presents I wanted.  Later, I just wanted money, to buy my own presents, and I wanted to be able to spend time with my girlfriend or my friends.  Sure, I love seeing my family, but that wasn’t my focus.

I think it was after I got out of college and was in pilot training when Christmas with the family began to be important.  I guess you don’t realize the importance of something until it’s taken away.  Now, I look back on all the Christmas’s past, and I can’t remember many specific toys of gifts.  What I remember most are the faces and smiles of my family.  I remember Grandmother Roan who for ten years said this would be her last Christmas.  I remember Nena and Van along with Mae, throwing a party and trying to dance with all the kids.  I remember Mom and Dad keeping us from coming down to early on Christmas morning.   I remember all my sisters waking up and sitting at the top of the stairs until we could all run down to check what we had gotten.  I remember Aunt Jean and Uncle Charlie, who actually paid for many of our presents in the early years.  I remember so much more.

You see, it’s not really about the gifts.  It’s not about whether you give or get.  It’s really about love.  His love is the key that unlocks hearts at Christmas.  You might not be a believer, but it’s still His love that opens the door to let your love out at Christmas.  Why do people get happy and smile.  I think that they want to believe.  There is a hole in their heart needing to believe in something.  Christmas allows them to fill that hole temporarily.   I think it is God’s way of drawing us into loving.  If we open ourselves to love, it begins to bring a crack in our armor so that we might receive His love.

So, yes this was a good Christmas.  I was able to spend it with Sheryl and Scott and Lacey and the kids.  I got to see Jennifer, Sean and the kids on face time as well as Lisa, Hernan and the kids.  But that’s still not the same.  It would have been a great Christmas if we all could have been together.  No, that’s really not fair.  We might never all be able to be together at Christmas time.  That means I would never have a great Christmas.  So, I am declaring that I did have a great Christmas.  I really did enjoy every part of it, and seeing Lisa and her family last week and now about to go see Jennifer and her family will make it complete.  It’s great, just different.

Christmas is about love.  It’s also about remembering, and I do remember all the Christmas’s past with fond memories, especially those with Julia when the kids were little.  But as good as every Christmas is, it’s always about the next one, and the anticipation of life and love that it brings.  So as I say goodbye to Christmas 2011, I look with great anticipation to next year and Christmas 2012.  What joy we will have because of His love flowing through us all.  Making memories is a lot of fun too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well, it’s after midnight, so it is officially Christmas here in Atlanta and in Ft Lauderdale.  It won’t be Christmas in Juneau for another three and a half hours, but it’s close enough to wish everyone of you a Merry Christmas.  As I think about Christmas, I am reminded that it is not about presents, but about His presence.  Yet, I so enjoy watching kids open gifts.  I love to see the expression of surprise on their face when they pull back the paper and realize that the gift they are getting is something that they have really been wanting for a long time. 

I got to see that expression on Anna’s face when we were in Juneau. And I saw it tonight on Ava’s and Judah’s face as well.  Oren, well, he is a little old for this expression.  But to see “the look” and know that they feel good about themselves and they know that someone cares about their wants and needs, which is what it is all about. 

I think that is how Father God sees us.  He loves to see the expression of surprise and joy on our face when He surprises us with His goodness and His grace.  The thing is, He wants us to see it all year.  Sure we celebrate His goodness over Christmas and the fact that He sent His son to bring us into the everlasting light.  But He shows us His grace and His goodness all the time.  Our problem is that we miss seeing it most of the time.  He is in constant communication with us.  Our problem is that we aren’t listening on the channel He is speaking on most of the time.  It’s true that His still small voice is what we need to listen for.  But as we listen, we need to be obedient to what we hear, no matter what the cost.  The more we obey, the more we hear.  Most of our lack of hearing comes because of our lack of obedience.  But don’t worry, He loves us so much that when we turn and ask for forgiveness and another chance, He is quick and just to begin speaking where we can hear Him again.

So, Christmas can be about renewing our relationship with Father God, and learning to hear Him all over again.  He wants that, but we have to make the first move.  He is not willing to invade our space if He is not welcome.  It’s like the picture in Revelations of Jesus standing at the door, knocking.  He won’t open it himself; He wants you to open it.  So, I guess the real question for all of us this Christmas is this: Am I hearing Him like I should?  If not, what do I need to do to improve my relationship with Him?  Am I being disobedient?  If so, what do I need to do?   You see, if we are not hearing Him, the problem is on our end.  I know that for me, I want every day to be like Christmas next year.  I want Him to know how much I love Him, and I want to really appreciate His goodness and love just like I do at Christmas.  So to all of you, my friends, may each day of the New Year be like a very Merry Christmas to you as you receive all that Papa has for you each day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve, Eve

It was almost 70 degrees in Atlanta today.  Way to warm for Christmas unless you are in Hawaii, Florida or Australia.  Since I am not in any of those places, it could be a little colder for Christmas.  I’m not really complaining, I was able to get out and take a six-mile run this afternoon without dressing up for winter.  That was really nice and it was the longest run that I have had in a long time.  We are getting ready for Christmas Eve.  We will have church tomorrow at 5 and then Scott, Lacey and the kids over for Christmas dinner.  Sheryl has been cooking most of the afternoon and evening, and I know that it will be a good dinner.  It’s still hard to believe that we are down here in Peachtree City.  It’s good, but everything seems so different.

One of the good things about being down here is that we can see Dad and Allene.  We are taking them to brunch tomorrow morning and that will be fun.  I still find myself thinking about Christmas last year in Hilton Head.  It was so cold.  We could have used some of this year’s weather there last year.  Oh well, you have to enjoy what you have when you have it, and that’s what I intend to do.  We had fun in Juneau, we will have fun here and then fun in Ft Lauderdale.  Three very different locations, but all filled with families and memories to be made and enjoyed.  What are some of your favorite memories?  

If you are like me, you probably have so many that it is hard to answer.  But as I think back on Christmas past, I have a hard time thinking of a bad memory.  Even the ones when we were so poor that we hardly had any gifts were very special because we had each other.  I was so fortunate that I had a home that was loving and joyful, especially around Christmas.  I know that is the type of home that we tried to give our girls growing up.  Gifts are nice, but the greatest gift you can give is yourself.  Giving yourself and your love to those who love you is so important.

I guess that’s why I still get so much pleasure listening to all the old Christmas songs.  I’m doing that now.  Listening to “Here Comes Santa Clause” reminds me of my aunt and uncle “Sister and JB”.  I think most of these memories were when I was around three and staying with them during Christmas time.  It was where I began to hear Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Gene Autry sing all the old Christmas songs. 
The show that we saw about the Andrews Sisters stirred up these memories too.  It’s amazing that I can remember something that long ago.   No, Christmas is about memories, so as I get older, it’s my responsibility to help make memories for my grandchildren.  I saw a card today at the store.  It said that Christmas was a great way to end one year and begin another.  I truly embrace that in reality, 2011 ends on Christmas Eve, and 2012 begins Christmas Morning.  It begins full of hope, joy and peace.  I pray that it will stay that way.  So, it’s about to be Christmas Eve, and this is a special time.  Enjoy it!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Home From Juneau

It’s always good to be home again.   We got home last night about midnight.  It was a little over 24 hours from the time that we left Lisa’s in Juneau.  We had to get creative to get home, which is not surprising for the holiday travel.  We went from Seattle to Memphis to Atlanta.  Then we had to search for our bags in Atlanta.  Praise God, they were there, and after about 30 minutes we found them.  But we were, and are still on Juneau time.  We came home and had something to eat and didn’t get to bed until after one in the morning.  Then getting up was another chore.  We finally got up around 10:30.  It will probably be the same tomorrow since it is already after one now.

Anyway, I’m sitting here listening to Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.  The tree is beautiful and we spent a wonderful night at the Steeds with friends from RiverStone.  It’s important to keep connections and tonight was a lot of fun.  Tomorrow is for running, going to the store and cooking.  I’ll do the running and probably go to the store.  Sheryl will do the cooking.  Anyway it will be a full day and I don’t think we have the time to sleep as long in the morning.

Christmas is so special.  It’s about giving and blessing the ones you love, and some people that you might not even know.  Father God set the example by giving us His Son.  We all need to learn to give.  I think one of the first signs of maturity is when you begin to understand that giving is really more fun than getting.  Sure, I still love to get gifts because it makes me feel special and loved.  But I really do love to give much more.  I love to see the look of surprise and shock on someone’s face when they receive a gift that they were totally not expecting.  That makes it so worth every thing.

So tomorrow starts the weekend of Christmas.  I will miss those that I love that are not here, and enjoy being with those that I love that are here.  If I had my way, we would all be together, but that is a perfect world, and we don’t live in a perfect world yet.  But no matter where we are, love still flows, and we will be in contact with each other.  Life moves on and decisions that we have to make take us apart physically, but nothing can separate us spiritually.  Memories are the glue that keeps us together and makes our love even stronger when we are apart.

Well it is late here in Atlanta, even though it’s only a little after 9 in Juneau.  I have to begin to transition back to Eastern time, so I guess it’s time for bed, even though I’m not sleepy. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sitting in Airports

In some ways it seems like I have spent most of my life sitting in airports. I guess being in aviation for over 40 years would give anyone that perspective. I do know that it is much more fun waiting in an airport knowing that you have a seat. When I was flying and on a trip, I still hated the sit around, but at least I knew that I had a seat. Right now Sheryl and I are sitting I the Seattle airport. We have already missed one flight, well really two, since the second is about to leave without us. I am already looking at other options beside the direct flights to Atlanta. We will try going to Minneapolis and then to Atlanta next. We might have a chance with that one.

Of course, no longtime traveler nonrev's the week before Christmas. That is unless they want to see their grandchildren then they lose all their senses. We left Juneau at 8pm last night and then got a hotel in Seattle at midnight. We got up at four and here we are. Yesterday we had "Christmas" with the kids and it was a lot of fun. It was a great visit with the whole family, but it was hard to say goodby knowing it will probably be summer before we can get back.

But now, back to reality and trying to get back to Atlanta for Christmas. We are looking forward to that too. We will have Scott, Lacey and the kids over for Christmas eve dinner. Then after Christmas the drive to Ft Lauderdale. It will be 12 hours, but at least we have control of our own destiny. Well, this is an unusual early morning post, hopefully I can update it tonight from our home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Closed on Mondays

A number of years ago, we had some friends from England staying with us. They were only with us for a couple of days and we wanted to show them some of the local sights. It was a Monday, and we started driving around. Well, everywhere we went the establishment had a sign saying "Closed on Monday". It was before we had smart phones and could look up addresses and phone numbers. We just drove around from place to place reading "Closed on Monday". We spent all day doing that and it got to be very funny.

Today wasn't nearly that bad. We were able to "Let our fingers do the walking". We saved a lot of gas and time by not driving to all the places that we wanted to go that we're closed. It seems that most of Juneau, restaurants and all were "Closed on Monday". So we spent most of the day deciding where we weren't going to go instead of actually going anywhere. It was 40 degrees and everything was melting. I couldn't run outside because it was very icy and slick on the sidewalks.

We did get to go to "The Hanger". It's my favorite restaurant in Juneau. It sits on the water with the mountains in the background. The food is great too. I had a bowl of Halibut and Clam Chowder that was outstanding. Then we wound up at the best food store in Juneau, Fred Meyers, for a Starbucks. So the day was still a lot of fun. Salmon for dinner topped the day off.

Lisa had to work from 6:30 to 6:30 today, so we were without her presence all day. For the most part, Anna and Julia did just great. It has been so much fun keeping up with them this week, although I have to admit that my back is a little sore from holding them so much. The bad news is that the flights are filling up fast, and we are going to leave tomorrow night at 8pm. That will allow us to standby for all the flights to Atlanta on Wed and if need be, on Thursday as well. Hopefully we will be able to get home sometime
on Wed. We really do hate to leave a little early, but we don't want to spend Christmas eve in the Seattle airport. So it looks like this time tomorrow night we will be still flying toward Seattle. I'll try to get a hotel room close to the airport. That way we can get a few hours of sleep before we have to start standing by. So I don't know if I will post until I'm back in Georgia.

Christmas is all about family, and I am so glad that we got to spend this time with Hernan, Lisa, Anna and Julia. It really has been a great week.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Rainy Sunday

Yesterday it was snowing again. It wasn't snowing all day, but it snowed lightly most of the day. I was able to run, the snow helped give traction on the ice. It was more slippery than the other day, but an hour run was very fun and beautiful. Of course it was slower because it was more slippery, but it was still fun. I have decided that I like the snow better than the rain. Today it rained all day and it would have been impossible to go out running. So snow, in limited amounts, is definitely better than rain. A having said that, it rained so hard that if it had been snow we probably would have had at least a foot.

We did get to church, Juneau Christian Center. It was a very good service. I am so glad that Lisa and Hernan have found a good church. It had good worship, and the message was very good as well. It would definitely be where I would go if I lived here. After church we went to lunch and to see Santa at the mall. Anna had a cute picture taken with Santa. It's the first time she has ever sat in his lap. Julia would have nothing to do with him, even with Lisa sitting next to him. I guess that she will be just like her sister.

It's been so good being here. I really miss my girls, both are so far away. It's hard to get to see them as much as I would like. It's just hard to believe we have been gone 5 days. Of course to get here you have to add at least a day of travel on each end. I've got to start watching the flights. It's going to get harder and harder to get home as we get closer to Christmas.

I'm sitting here, probably the only one still awake. Lisa has duty tomorrow from 6:30am until 6:30pm. It's the only day she has to work while we are here. We will have fun with the kids, and hopefully I will get a run in outside. I did get to the gym this afternoon with Lisa. I grot a good workout, so the rain didn't totally stop me from doing what I needed to do. Tomorrow will be fun, no matter what we are able to do. I am excited to see what the day brings. Hopefully it will be a day filled with light snow showers and very little rain. Yes, that would be very good indeed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Playing in the Snow

When I woke up this morning, it was raining. When I looked outside you could tell that the snow was melting around the house and on the roads. My plan was to get out for a run, but Lisa had other plans in mind, and they were better, so I didn't mind going along with hers. She wanted us all to get ready and drive up to the ski slopes. We were Going to go no tubes down a few hills. I sounded like fun, so we packed up to get ready to go. When she called to make sure they were opened, we found out that they no longer had he tubes, but we could come up and find a place to go sledding, so thats what we decided to do.

When we got there, it was really hard to find a place for the girls to sled. Everything around the lodge was just so compact and crowded. We finally found a place down near one of the cross country trails. It was fun for Anna, Julia just wanted to walk and play in the snow. But Anna really did want to sled, and she had a good time. I even went down once, and it was fun. It didn't take too long to get cold, so eventually we went back down to town and found a place for a late lunch.

It's only 10pm here, but I still must be suffering from jet lag. Sheryl is in bed, probably asleep by now and i am ready to join her. Lisa is up making cookies for the birthday party tomorrow afternoon. I really don't have anything else to say, so I'll stop for the night and continue to write tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Juneau in December

The sun came up today at 8:45 this morning and set at 3:04. That is really better than I thought it would be as far as sunlight, but it was cloudy with light snow most of the day. Terri really wasn't much sun. At 4:30, I felt like it was 8. Maybe that is because of the four hour time difference between here and atlanta. I blamed it on the sunset, but that might not have been right.

I did get out for a run in the snow this morning. It was a slow run, but I did go for 48 minutes, and tomorrow I'll probably go for an hour. It was a lot of fun, because I was dressed for it. It really was a beautiful run, and I can't wait to run even farther. This afternoon we went to Home Depot to buy a Christmas Tree. I have never bought a free there, how much different could it be? In reality, not much. We picked out a tree and had them trim the branches so it would go into the stand. It was sort of like old times, helping Lisa pick out a tree.

Tonight, I put the lights on, with Sheryl's help, and then we watched while Lisa and Anna put the ornaments on and Julia kept trying to take them off. I was a good night and we had a lot of fun. In fact, I had fun the whole day. I seemed to spend most of it holding Julia or playing with Anna. But that's the main reason that we are here. Tomorrow will probably be more of the same, but it should be fun. We got an inch or so of snow today, who knows what we will get tomorrow. It should be another fun day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Somewhere Over the Northwest

It's been a long day, but a good day. It's 10pm in Atlanta, and we just took off for Juneau by way of Ketchikan. It will be another 3:30 before we finally get to Juneau, so it will be about a 21 hour day. I feel remarkably good right now. We spent most of the day in the Seattle airport, but we had some good food, and got to drink some Alaskan Amber, my new favorite beer, so it wasn't too bad.

We did have one mishap however. When we went through security in Seattle, Sheryl stumped her little toe against a metal leg while she was barefooted. She has been in pain with it most of the afternoon. Advil helped, but I don't know what more we could do except tape it and ice it if we had been home. But at the airport there was not much to be able to do. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow because she is hobbling right now.

It's exciting to think that in a few short hours we will be in Juneau with all the kids. It's going to be a fun week. It's pretty comfortable right now, we are sitting on the back row of tourist class, but we have an empty seat between us. That allows us to spread out and relax more. This mornings flight was full, but it was still a good flight. I'm sitting here typing on my iPad listening to some of my "oldies". It really doesn't get much better than this on this type of flight. I really am impressed with Alaskan Airlines, they have a good operation and friendly people. They remind me of what Delta was like in the old days.

I guess the holidays really have started for us. No more work or school until after the first of the year. It's time to kick back and enjoy family. It's also time to focus on what the holidays really are all about. We were talking about school today. Sheryl was asking me what I thought about Georgian Banov. I thought he was great and carried an anointing of joy and rest that we all need. Our school is all about freedom, and we have so many different speakers from so many different streams. I loved Georgian and I loved Bobby Conner, but if you listened to them closely, they were on opposite sides of many issues. Who is right? In many ways, they both are. A pendulum swings from side to side, and who is to say at any one time what is right. But there is always a plumb line. It is the line that defines all truth. I believe that the plumb line is that God is Good, and nothing bad comes from Him. The rest I let Holy Spirit sort out as the need arises.

The first semester of school is over. It has been great. I've grown as I taught, prophesied and led.I can't wait to see what is going to happen this next term. Many of the students that I was really concerned about have come through in great shape. I pray that they continue to be strong and grow as much in this next term as they have this term.

Well, I think this is all for tonight. Hopefully I will be able to update tomorrow night, but if things get busy it might be the next day. Enjoy the good weather in Atlanta, it's 34 here all week. I wonder how much snow we will have?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Off to Alaska

It gives you a sick feeling when the agent listing you on you flight says that you are brave to be traveling to SE Alaska this time of year.  I guess we are, either brave or stupid.  Well, I know this.  We are supposed to go, and if my Father wants me to go then I trust Him to help us get there and get back.  So, tomorrow morning we begin the journey.  Even at best it is going to be a long day.  We fly to Seattle and land at 10:51, but we miss the last nonstop to Juneau, so we get to take the scenic route.  It stops on two other islands and takes over 5 hours to get there.  That will be over 10 hours in an airplane and about 4 sitting in Seattle.  Yes it will be a long day even if everything goes right.  So I probably won’t be able to post a blog tomorrow night.

I still can’t wait to get there to see them all.  We did face time last night and talked to Anna Roan on her birthday.  Both of then are so cute, and it is going to be great to see Hernan and Lisa too.  Families are a lot of what Christmas is about, and as long as I can travel, we will always try to see them all.  But I do admit that this is a little challenging this year.  Next year we will definitely go ahead and buy some tickets. 

The bast two nights we have had a revivalist from Bulgaria,  Georgian Banov.  I have never seen a man so down to earth and childlike and yet so full of wisdom and joy.  He plays the violin and helped lead worship.  It was amazing.  He brought the joy of the Lord to our school at a time where we really needed it.  He spoke on the finished work of the Cross and all that Jesus bought when He died for us.  It’s very simple but very radical to most of the church.  He bought it all.  We don’t have to work for anything.  Think about this quote: “Everything you don’t believe Jesus did for you on the Cross, you have to do for yourself.”  That is so true, because we keep trying to do things ourselves that Christ has already paid for. 

He constantly spoke of the joy of the Lord, and was releasing a new level of Joy to everyone.  I loved this quote: “Religion wants you holy but not happy.  The world wants you happy but not holy.  Jesus wants you both holy and happy.  That’s what I am going after, happy holiness or holy happiness.  It really is available and we can walk in it if we just allow ourselves to begin to believe that it is ours.  We don’t have to strive for it, it’s not about works, it’s about stepping into it through His grace and His finished work.  It’s all about walking in peace and mot striving.  My prayer is that I can walk in that peace thorugh all of this travel.  I know we are supposed to get there, so I am declaring His favor, and seats for us on all the planes that we need to get on.  Alaska here we come!

Birthdays and Memories

There were two family birthdays in the last two days, and both of them were born in Hawaii.  Coincidence?  Maybe but I don’t believe in coicidences.  So as I sit here writing this I am trying to piece any connections together.  Jennifer was our first born daughter, and Anna Roan was Lisa’s firstborn daughter.  At the time, Lisa was in the Coast Guard flying C-130’s.  I had my Aircraft Commander checkout in the C-130 three days before Kennifer was born.  They were both born on Oahu, really not very far apart.  I don’t know, I’ll have to ocontinue to think about the similarities. 

Jennifer was born on December 11.  I remember it well.  We got up that morning, and around 8 or 8:30, Julia started having labor pains.  She had had some before, so I wanted to make sure before we went to Tripler.  Tripler is the big Army hospital.  It is a tremendous pink building sitting up in the hills.   You can see it from almost anywhere in Honolulu.  It took about 30 minutes to get there, so we always had a bag packed.  We had taken Lamaze classes.  That’s the closest thing to natural childbirth that we had heard of, and we were all ready.

So, I took Julia to the hospital.  They said she wasn’t dilated enough, and had us walk around the grounds for about 30 minutes before they sent us home.  So, we drove home, disappointed and then Julia went to bed.  I was getting ready to go to work when her water broke.  We called the hospital and they told us to come back, so we made the drive again.  Once we got there the labor and delivery went pretty fast, and Jennifer was born about 1:30 in the afternoon.  Tripler was ahead of it’s time, they made Julia get up and walk to get her meals, and they had Julia with her in the room most of the time. 

Julia and I were in Hawaii for Anna Roan’s birth.  It was beautiful looking at all the Christmas lights.  I think that Hawaiians make up for the lack of cold or snow by over decorating.  I can remember walking down one of the streets near Lisa’s and it seemed like walking down the main street at Disney world during the Christmas parade.  I remember that we left for Hawaii on Dec 4th because Lisa’s due date was around the 5th or 6th.  Well, by the 11th Lisa was fit to be tied.  That afternoon, she just wanted to be alone, so she sent us out to dinner and to a movie.  I think we went to see the movie about Mary.  We were only a third of the way into the movie when Hernan called and said that Lisa was in labor and wanted us back.

Well, Lisa was going to have a home birth.  She had a midwife, and Julia was going to help.  I was going to help by staying out of the way.  As far out of the way as I possibly could.  My plan was to have my headsets on and watch Star Wars on my computer.  It worked too, at least for a while.  But once everything started, I could here things through my headset; things that I really didn’t want to here.  Well, Lisa’s labor started on the 11th, and we thought that Anna Roan would be born on Jennifer’s birthday, but that was not to be.  It was close to 1AM on December 12 when she was born.  We were there.  We were there for both births, born in Hawaii, years apart, but really close together.  Both were special and we were very glad to be at both. 

So, Jennifer celebrated her birthday yesterday in Ft Lauderdale, and today Anna Roan celebrated in Juneau. Sheryl and I will be there in two days, so I hope to make some new memories for Anna Roan and us while we are there.  Life moves on, but memories remain sketced in your brain forever.  O, looking forward to the opportunity to make some new ones.  This Chirstmas will be a great time for making them.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Your Music Helps Define You

OK, I’m a baby boomer who came of age in the late 60’s.  I still live in the sixties in many ways.  I love sixties music, and I think about the cars I had in the 60’s.  I remember what went on in high school and college as if it were yesterday.  I don’t hang out with many of my friends anymore, but I remember most of them.  Here it is 2011, almost 2012, and I know more about The Doors and Peter, Paul and Mary  and The Beatles than I do about any current musician, or any musician since the early 70’s.  Strange isn’t it?  Not really.

I believe that we all have an era of music that defines us.  Today, we went to the Legacy Theater to see “A Swinging Christmas”.  It was about the Andrew Sisters as well as other entertainers of the late 40’s.  I knew almost all their music.  I wasn’t even born during most of their music, but I knew it because mom was stuck in the 40’s so I listened to it growing up with her.  The 40’s music helped define her, and she would have loved the play today.  I regret that I didn’t ask Dad and Allene to go with us, they probably would have loved it.  In fact, most of the people were people who probably were stuck in the forties.

I’m so glad I was stuck in the 60’s rather than today.  I would hate to have to drive all around every day for the rest of my life listening to Lady Gaga, or Justin Beaver.  I guess you love what you grow up with.  The good news is that is not the only music that I like. I love worship music and some classical.  But if I am looking just to kick back and relax, Pandora Radio comes on with my sixties channel to bring me back into my easy space. 

Yes, today was fun to step back in time, and the actors and actresses were unbelievable.  It was a good time to think back on my childhood, and remember the 40’s music that my mom loves do well.  Shoot,  I still listen to the 40’s during Christmas.  Bing Crosby is one of my favorite Christmas artists.  I’ll have to listen to some more of the Andrews Sisters; they were very good in their time.  No, I still won’t ever be able to embrace today’s music.   I’ll stay in the 60’s until I can’t listen anymore.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is a Coming

Well, it’s been a busy two days.  I did two sozo’s yesterday and one this morning.  Sheryl helped me this morning and it was fun to work together.  All three went very well, it is just so fun to see the Holy Spirit bring freedom and set captives free.  So, that part of the day was awesome.  Then I went to work this afternoon and didn’t get home until a little after 8PM.  We had dinner together and then watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase.  It’s hard to believe that it was made in 1989.  It is a great, funny movie and I really have to watch it every Christmas.

I remember that last year we watched it together in Hilton Head.  We were all together last Christmas.  It’s going to be hard not being together this year.  But the travel begins soon.  We will be leaving on Wed for Juneau.  It’s hard to believe that it is coming so soon.  It will be great to see everyone and spend time with them.  Then we will be back here for a few days during Christmas and then it’s off to Ft Lauderdale over New Year’s with Jennifer and her family.  So, we might cover over 5000 miles or so round trip.  We will be up with Santa Clause as we travel.

Tomorrow I am off, that is good.  It should be a nice easy day, so I want to get to work out in the morning.  Then in the afternoon we are going to a play.  It’s a Christmas play about the Andrews Sisters in WW2 era.  It should be fun.  I still have two more work days before we leave.  I work on Sunday and Tuesday, both on B periods.  It’s really getting exciting as I sit here listening to Christmas Carols.  But Christmas is all about family, and as much as I am excited, I’m still a little sad that we are so spread out, but I certainly understand the dynamics of life, and it will be fine.  I think I will treat myself to an eggnog latte tomorrow.  That should make me feel better.  Anyway, life goes on, as we all grow up. But Christmas is for families, and I will do my best to make sure we get to see each other as much as we can,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Date Night

Well, I didn’t get to write last night.  I had planned to, but I had worked an early A period that morning, and I didn’t get home until very late last night.  So, buy the time I was ready to write. I was just too tired.  But it was a great night.  What was I doing?  It was a date night with my wife.  We really needed some time off together.  This has been building for a week or so.  It seems that everything is keeping us apart, or when we are together, we are so busy that we don’t have time for each other.
So, after work yesterday, we went to lunch together and then went to Lenox mall to do some Christmas shopping.  It was a fun afternoon, if you can have fun shopping.  No, seriously I did enjoy it.  I quickly realized that it was the first time I had been at a mall shopping since Julia died.  I had some good memories flash by, especially as we walked through pottery barn, but my focus was on being with Sheryl and having fun with her.  We looked for clothes and got some different stuff for each other.  We got a Starbucks and walked through all of Lenox Square just window shopping. 

I think one of the most telling sights I saw had to do with where technology is going.  First we packed the Apple Store and it was packed.  You could walk in, but you would have a long wait to be waited on or to buy anything .  It was filled with shoppers.  Then when we were downstairs, we saw a Microsoft Windows store.  It was almost twice as big is square footage as the Apple store, but there must have been only three to four customers in the store.  In fact, there were a number of employees just waiting around for something to do. 

We then left Lennox and went over to Nordstrom’s at Phipps Plaza.  I was looking for shirts, and I found some that I liked there.  By then we were tired and hungry.  I was thinking about eating there, or on the way home, but Sheryl had heard about this restaurant from Scott and Lacey.  It  was called “Two Urban Licks”.  It’s over near the Carter Center, and it was as good as advertised.  I had Calamari and a salad.  It was probably the best Calamari that I have had here in Atlanta.  It was a very upscale place.  It was an old abandoned warehouse that had been converted in to this beautiful restaurant.  So, to make a long story short, it was a night spent on each other, just hanging out and walking around talking.  It was a needed time, and I am so glad that we really enjoyed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Are You Worth?

That’s a fair question.  What are you worth.  I think that a few years ago, all the chemicals in your body would be worth a couple of hundred dollars.  I’m sure that I would be worth a lot more if I were to sell my organs off one at a time.  Who knows maybe I might be worth a million dollars or so.  What is a heart worth on the black market; or eyes; or kidneys, lungs or liver.  Yes, piece by piece I probably would be worth millions.  But that is not enough, not nearly enough.

I must be worth a lot if Jesus was willing to die for me.  Think about it, if we realize what price our Papa was willing to pay to redeem us, we are worth so, so much more.  We tend to devalue ourselves if when we think that Christ died for all mankind.  Yes he did, that is true.  But He would have done the same thing if it was just me or you.  So we can’t use that excuse to cut down our worth.

Tonight Paul Manwaring was talking about our worth to our Father.  In the Old Testament God inhabited the Tabernacle.  It was a tent who’s value in today’s currency would be about 16 Billion dollars.  Then He moved to the Temple which is was worth about 60 Billion dollars.  He left both of those to dwell in my heart.  So, I must be worth at least 76 Billion dollars with Him. Think about it for a minute.  It puts a different light on the subject, doesn’t it?  76 Billion is a lot of money, and that is just the beginning. 

Most of us don’t value ourselves as much as God does.  If we could just see ourselves through His eyes, we would know that we are truly awesome.  We need to realize that we were made to hold His glory.  That is one of the reasons we are worth so much.  He wants His glory shed abroad in the earth, and He wants us to do it.   We have to expand our view of glory.  It’s not just found in the church.  Glory is found in every area of the earth.  It’s our jov to harness it and release it out into the world.  But first we have to understand how much we are worth.  I’m still learning, but I know that I am worth a lot more than I have ever realized.  You are too!

Sons and Fathers

Tonight Paul Manwaring spoke at BASSM on Sonship.  He talked about what it takes to be a son, and how the process comes about.  It was a great night and some real revelation was released to us all.  Paul is head of all the strategic planning and leads the Global Legacy network. It’s a network of churches that are affiliated with Bethel Redding.  He is also one of the elders in our church and plays a big part in our strategic planning as well.

Paul talked about how one of the marks of a son is his teach ability and not being prideful.  He talked about the verse in Proverbs that says: The eye that mocks a father is never satisfied.  Too often we believe we have arrived.  A true son never stops learning.  He never stops being able to receive from others.  Even if he is more experienced, He must be willing to constantly learn,  To often we stop and say that we have arrived.  Of course we don’t say it out loud, but in our hearts we begin to settle.  We are at peace where we are and don’t want change.  The churches job is to bring change, so we should embrace it, not try to hide from it.

 If you don't learn how to become a son or a daughter then every earthly father will let you down – Paul Manwaring.  We have to learn to become true sons and daughters; otherwise we will constantly run from those fathers who can best pour into our lives.  If we are to succeed in the Kingdom, then we have to let Fathers and Mothers pour into our lives.  If we don’t then we will not be balanced, and will wind up hurting ourselves or others.  This is one of the major problems in the church today.  The orphan spirit doesn’t allow us to trust leaders.  We have been hurt in the past and many times we have not been healed.  We project that same hurt and pain onto other leaders and then we allow ourselves the luxury of not listening to sound advice and getting the opportunity to grow.

Responsibility and faithfulness to those who are not sons looks like performance and duty. - Paul Manwaring.  Once again, we see that the good and the bad can look alike.  The outcome depends upon the heart and our attitudes.  As sons, we are to personify responsibility and faithfulness.  As a son it is easy, because we want to show and release love and respect.  But if we are not sons, it looks and feels like its our duty and we have to perform to get it ready.  It’s all about where our hearts are.  If our heart is right, then our attitude will be right, and then it will feel like we are responsible and faithful.  Otherwise it is all about how we perform and what’s in it for us. 

It really is about serving, but serving as a lover and a son.  In fact, we have to be sons, servants and lovers if we are really going to be the bride of Christ here on the earth.  We all have our own mission, but as sons, we have to allow our mission be brought into submission to the main mission of the church.  Only then will we be released  and sent out by gathers to fulfill our mission.  That’s how it works in the kingdom. Hopefully we can all become sons and daughters, because we can’t become fathers and mothers until we have past that first test.  The world is needing more Fathers and Mothers.  It’s up to us to give it to them.