Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. Thestranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past,understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parents' den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? He goes by his initials. We just call him TV."

I did not write this but thought it puts things in prospective.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What is the purpose of life?

That all depends on if there is a God or not.

If there isn’t, then the purpose of life is whatever you want it to be: more money, more sex, make a “name” for yourself, have fun, etc. Who is to say any choice is wrong? Everyone will make a different choice and that is cool.

But if there is a God then our purpose in life is designated by our Creator. He has the right to make that decision for us. The Bible says: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil. Ecc 12:13-14

The whole duty of man- the whole reason why we are here- is to fear God and obey Him. That is it.

This is very simple, really.

What did God tell us to do? Well, I could talk about all the laws of Moses and the Ten Commandments and all. But Jesus said He came to fulfill the law. He told us to do two things and if we do those two things, we fulfill ALL the law.

And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. Luke 10:27

That is it. Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Don’t have anything- not children, spouses, houses, jobs, sex, hobbies, entertainment, money- not ANYTHING that you would not be willing to give up for God if He told you to.

The neat thing is that when we do this, we no longer have to make ourselves happy and satisfied. God can give us joy and satisfaction. You will never be really happy until you put God first, above EVERYTHING else.

Loving others as much as we love ourselves makes us treat others right. This has two results: others will treat us well (The Law of Sowing and Reaping) and we will fell good about ourselves. We will always be above reproach if we follow this law. Add to that that God Himself will be pleased with us and reward us for obeying.

Who is our neighbor? Everyone: your spouse, child, parent, sibling, distant cousin, total stranger living half way around the world.

The rewards for fulfilling your purpose as God designed it are immeasurable. First true peace and happiness on this planet and then Party Time for Eternity! Hey! What a deal!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


God, if You didn’t want us to go camping, all you had to do was say so.

We were supposed to leave Friday morning and camp around north Ca and Nv. Thursday night Jacky began vomiting around 11:30. She continued every half hour to hour all night long (mostly dry heaves). We decided to wait until Saturday to leave. By then she was still not 100% but feeling much better.

We got a little more than half way to our first camp site when Jon and Joe lost it. By lunch, only Jessie and I felt good enough to eat a whole pbj. We were closer to the camp than to home so we went on and set up camp.

By bedtime, all the children but Jim had lost it and he and Andy were curled up on blankets on the ground trying not to move anymore than necessary. It was a long night to say the least.

We went to the lava tubes the next morning (less than an hour drive) while trying to decide what to do. Andy handed Jennifer a flashlight and she took off down the tubes! Totally fearless! (They are just long tubes like a toilet paper roll and we kept up with her so she was perfectly safe.)

I prayed the whole time for God to tell Andy what to do. By the time we got back to camp, he knew we needed to go home. We packed up and did the long drive home.

About 5:00 the next morning it hit me. I ended up curled up on the living room floor. It was five hours before I could move enough to get out of the walk way! We just kicked back Monday and Tuesday.

By Wednesday everyone was feeling better so we went to Topaz and went swimming. Thursday we went to the Golden Gate Bridge in ‘Frisco. The kids love the fort and found the big city fascinating.

Friday we went back roading to Bodie and back. Quite a nice time.

We can only figure God was protecting us by making us go home. We may have been in the wrong place in an intersection, or someone might have fallen and got hurt, or who knows if we had gone on with our plans. We are thankful for His protection.

But God, couldn’t You have just told us to not camp and saved all that packing and vomiting?