As Valuable As Gold

While in San Diego last week I was fortunate to spend some time with old friends I haven’t seen in a few years. We talked on the phone some, but spending time together in each other’s presence makes all the difference. What’s really nice, too, is that good friends can pick up right where they left off, as if there weren’t years of separation.

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Hang’n with Baby Spice

kknbabyspice.JPGNorm is doing better and I’m still in San Diego where it’s over 20 degrees cooler than Scottsdale.

Today I’m hanging out with my youngest niece Baby Spice. She is almost 3. We looked at pics of my cats, played a computer game, video chatted with Uncle Norm, watched Sesame St, took pictures, ate lunch and now we are watching JJ the Jet Plane. I’m tired!

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Back Home Again

After a 6 hour drive through rain, wind and massive amounts of blowing dust, we are home in Scottsdale.   Our trip to San Diego was fun and memorable.

Christmas was very special spent with my family — Mom and Dad, my brother Jack, his wife Ashley and the girls — Hannah, Mackenzie and Zoe.   It seems my nieces have got the musical genes from both Jack and Ashley.   Hannah, 9 almost 10, plays violin.   Mackenzie, 6, received a guitar for Christmas and both girls received an electronic keyboard from their grandma so they could learn together.   Zoe, age 2, will entertain you at the drop of a hat with her made-up songs and dances.   I love the way she combines the ABC song with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.   She makes up her own lyrics, which only a two-year-old could understand, but they are still sweet to hear.

While I was in San Diego the week before Christmas, and Norm stayed in Scottsdale to supervise work on our home, my brother helped me rebuild Ivan, my trusty computer.   Ivan received a great makeover!   He now sports an Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 at 2.4 GHz on a 2.39 GHz motherboard with 2.0 gigs of RAM, a new video card with 512 mgs of video RAM, and a spiffy new box from ASPIRE called an APEVIA X-QPack.   This thing is half the size of my old tower and so easy to manage.

My new chair is running great and I’m really enjoying it because it’s so much nicer than the old one.   Perhaps I’ll post a review in a few days.

There is so much to catch up on now that I’ve returned home.   All our old carpet was ripped out of the house and we have vinyl that looks like slate tile.   It’s beautiful, but our house is in a shambles as all of our possessions had to be boxed up and moved out and then back in again.   Norm didn’t have time to unpack much before he joined me in San Diego.   We’ll be playing the “where did I put that” game for quite a few days.

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Post Respite Blues

I am back now from my visit to family in San Diego. It was a great time, but all too short, and I feel as though I just didn’t get to see my family as much as I wanted to. Usually I only need a day to bounce back from a six-hour road trip, but I still feel exhausted and unmotivated for much of anything.

We had a family reunion of sorts with extended family members — uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. It was nice to see people I hadn’t seen in quite a while. It seems as though there were too many people to see in such a short time and I don’t like visiting in crowds. I’m much more of a one-on-one or small group person.

My brother and his family had the good fortune of finding a new place to live, but they had to move during my visit so I got to see very little of them. I think that’s why I feel so depressed. I probably won’t get to see them until Christmas. I’m going to go cry now.

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Freedom Is Not Free

Memorial Day 2006: what am I remembering today? I am remembering those who have died so that I might live free. Thank you for your sacrifice. I also remember the one who died so I may have spiritual freedom — thank you God for the sacrifice of your son Jesus Christ. In both cases someone had to die in order for others to be free. I don’t ever want to take for granted the freedom I have because that freedom is not free. I owe a debt I can never repay because freedom is not free. I pray that I will be responsible with the freedom I have and I pray that our nation never forget those who have given so much so that we might be free.

My dad wrote something for his congregation about Memorial Day. Here it is for you to read and think about today.

If you have never done so I encourage you to visit Fort Rosecran National Cemetery on Point Loma. (San Diego) It is an experience you will never forget. Take your children! Walk the rows of markers, look at the dates and understand the tremendous sacrifice made, not only by these men but by their families as well. Remember that “freedom is not free.” It cost a lot and in order to maintain it, it will cost a lot more. We must also understand that freedom is not licensed to do as I please, when I please. That is the road which will lead right back to bondage. Freedom requires us to do by choice that which no law can ever make us do.

There is another trip I would like for you to take with me. While we cannot go and see the greatest of these people, they, nonetheless, speak to us as clearly as a walk through one of our National Cemeteries. This list is found in the Bible, Hebrews chapter 11. I will not list the names here but when it is finished the writer says: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

By the way, I like to add a few names to that list. Names like my father’s and others I know who have gone on before us. I would encourage you to add your own list to that one. The names of people who influenced you in your Christian walk. After adding your list then read the next verses: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily in tangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and protector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 11:39-12:3 NIV) Let’s not forget this Memorial Day!

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