Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sheer Joy!

Have you ever heard of a game called "Zoom goes the Pillow?" Neither had I.  But as you can see, my granddaughter, Emily (here with her Dad), finds it a game filled with much joy and laughter.  I had forgotten how much fun it is to get a belly-laugh from an 8 month old! I hope I get to watch Emily play "Zoom goes the Pillow" again soon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

A week before we were to travel to San Francisco for the first leg of our vacation trip we learned that there was a transit strike in the city.  The BART was shut down and the roads were clogged.  People were struggling to get to work or unable to get to work and tempers were frayed.  It didn't sound like we were going to have a pleasant experience.

Then, a couple of days before we left, it was reported that the parties involved were going back to the bargaining table.  Hooray! we said.

Then on the Saturday before we were to leave, there was an airplane crash at SFO.  The tail end of the aircraft clipped the seawall, causing the plane to crash on the runway.  Several were killed and many injured.  The crash is still being investigated.

On Sunday we heard that air travel had been impaired to San Francisco.  Many flights were being delayed.  Others completely cancelled.

Monday morning at 6:30 am I called Southwest Airline for the status of our flight.  I was told it was on time to depart at 9 am.  Hooray! we said.

We arrived at the airport at 7:45 am and while checking our bags, Sherri's phone rang.  It was a recorded message from Southwest Airlines.  Our flight departure was being delayed for 2 hours.

We were pretty much stuck at the airport so we tried to make the best of it.  I had Starbucks and Cinnabon and read the newspaper.  Sherri played Friends with Words (or is it Words with Friends?).

Another announcement - our flight was now scheduled to depart at 12 Noon. 

Then another announcement - our flight was cancelled.  At this point we stopped using the word, Hooray!

Fortunately, Southwest Airlines placed us on a different flight, one that would take us to Oakland.  Unfortunately, our rental car was in SFO. 

After conferring with other travelers we learned that the BART had a special line that ran from one airport to another.  We would be able to get our car.  Just not in the way we imaged.

So...we took the plane to Oakland...we took a bus to the BART station...we took the BART to the SFO airport...we took the little service train at SFO to the car rental counter...we picked up our car and drove to our condo in Pacifica, CA.

We were quite late in getting to where we wanted to go.  But we weren't particularly frazzled or frustrated.  It had been a challenge and adventure.  And we made it.

My dear, sweet wife will tell you that I am a nervous traveler.  But I managed very well, in spite of the cancellations and complications.  Why?

Because Sherri was with me.  On my own, it would have been a very unpleasant experience.  But being together, supporting one another, thinking things through together, made it a fun trip (never thought I'd type those words!)

It is interesting - of all the great experiences we had on our vacation, the one I will remember the most is what it took to just get there. 

Not that I'd like another adventure like that again.  I'm getting older and how much excitement can my heart take anyway? A plain, old boring trip with every flight on time and no delays or cancellations would be great! Did you hear that Southwest Airlines?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back in the saddle again!

Or I will be tomorrow!

My dear, sweet wife and I are wrapping up three weeks of vacation today.  Tomorrow I return to the work that the Lord has given me to do at Life in Christ.  I'm rested and refreshed and looking forward to being among the flock that I get to shepherd.

While flying out on a previous vacation trip, Sherri and I decided to pass the time by doing a crossword puzzle.  We came upon this: a four letter word for vacation.

Sherri spelled: p l a y.

I spelled: r e s t.

You might gather then that vacations can cause conflict between us, right?

What we attempt to do is to mix ample doses of play and rest together so that we both enjoy our time away.

We started out in northwest California, staying in a beach community about 20 minutes south of San Francisco.  We spent several days in the city.  We traveled on a boat to Alcatraz (it really is a rock!).  We spent a day at Muir Woods and marveled at God's creative beauty.  We did the same on a day trip to Napa Valley (and enjoyed a delightful morning at Francis Ford Coppola's winery). And we enjoyed a visit to Carmel and Monterey.

From there we moved on to LaJolla and caught up with our youngest daughter and her family.  Her husband and I played golf one beautiful day (my golf game, however, was ugly!) and we spent a day at the beach on Coronado Island.  We came home, washed our clothes and drove with my son and his family to Greer, Arizona, in the White Mountains.  We did lots of hiking and took plenty of afternoon naps to the sound of rain on the roof.

This past weekend we babysat my youngest granddaughter while her Mom and Dad went to Nashville to attend the wedding of a friend.  Sherri and I had a great time caring for Emily, with her beautiful dark eyes and her long, dark hair ( I am a bit jealous of the hair!).

I wouldn't have been able to be gone for such a long time were it not for the great staff we have at LICL.  Because of Pastor Pope's illness, Pastor Darling had to carry a very heavy load and he did it all.  The office staff kept everything humming and our lay leaders did their part as well.  I'm so blessed!

Sherri and I thank the Lord for the time we have to get away.  We love to travel and God has blessed with us many opportunities to visit many parts of the US and the world.  As we travel together, our love and appreciation for one another grows and grows.  I know that my dear, sweet wife is a rich blessing and gift to me from the Lord.  May God continue bless her with good health, keep her from harm and danger, give her success in her work as a professor in the Nursing College at Grand Canyon University, and fill her heart with love and thanksgiving for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Remembering Bach

Today is the day that J.S. Bach fell asleep in Jesus.  His resting place is in the choir of the Thomaskirche, the place where Bach composed and performed some of the most amazing church music ever.  His influence cannot be measured.  Praise and thanks to God that Bach is such an important part of our Lutheran heritage.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Be Free - to be a Burden Bearer

This Sunday at LICL I will finish up my sermon series, "Be Free!" with the message, "Be Free - to be a Burden Bearer."  Holy Communion will be celebrated at the 8 am service and an adult baptism will take place following the second service at 10:45 am.  In between we have coffee and goodies on our patio followed by classes for all ages.  Join us for worship tomorrow at Life in Christ!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No uninteresting subjects?

There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject.  The only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

G. K. Chesterton