Friday, August 20, 2010

COCOA: a memorial

After many years of faithful service as watchdog, playpal, and beggar to the Missionary Family Rodgers (and our own personal grandpuppy), Cocoa went to doggy heaven (if there is one. we really don't know for sure because the Bible doesn't say one way or the other...but if there IS a doggy heaven, I'm sure Cocoa is there). Following are the words that were read by the children at Cocoa's funeral service, held Thursday, August 19, 2010. Burial was in the backyard near her doghouse.

POP says: I think she sacrificed her health to protect us from harm. I think the poisons did some damage. (In the line of duty as watchdog, Cocoa was poisoned several times by would-be robbers in an effort to stop her from warning the family of an intruder, but she always pulled through.)

I will always have warm memories about her.

MEEMAW says: Hot dogs (I bought hot dogs for her and gave her one every morning...she always waited at the doorway to the guest quarters where we stayed with the Rodgers family). Eager face in my doorway. Sneaking a paw in the door…then a nose…then her whole body. Sounding like she could eat up the repairmen. Hiding behind the pool. Silly dog. Doing all of here tricks for a morsel of any kind of food. Spitting out the carrots (and giving me that “what on earth are you feeding me” look). Chewing forever on a tiny bit of something, yet swallowing whole a big chunk of hot dog (she didn’t even taste it!) That horrified look she’d get at the thought of getting in the pool. Getting tangled up in the pool netting. Licking her chops when I’m eating something and I know she’s not hungry at all. Sneaking on the veranda. Chewing up stuff she knew she shouldn’t have chewed (and looking verrrry sorry). Looking at me so pitifully when she had to stay in the pen because of guests at the house. Poking her nose through the fence while detained in the Pen. Dragging herself sleepily out of the "cave" where she chose to live…stretching, yawning, lazing her way to me when I called. Kicking her hind leg while I scratched her tummy. Holding her face in my hands, looking into her eyes and saying “You’re a dog!”

A great dog to remember.

You may have other pets in your life, but Cocoa was the first. She will always be remembered fondly.

Pop and I will miss Cocoa.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All in the Perspective

My granddaughter, Kayla, a 12-year-old MK (missionary kid) living in Swaziland, is home schooled. She sent me the following essay. See if it blesses you as much as it blessed me. (copied here just as she wrote it.)

The Neighborhood Beyond Our Atmosphere

God has made a massive universe that I just love to learn about. So today I’m going to share my interest with you. There are many so many things I could share with you about space. It has more to study than if I lived 1,000 lives, doing nothing but studding the universe, I still would get only a tiny fraction of it. So I will tell you today about the distance between our neighboring heavenly bodies and our earth.

Our solar system is centered around the sun. The sun is a pretty little star compared to the others in our galaxy. We are 93,000,000 miles away from the sun. Mercury is 36 million miles away from the sun, Venus is 67.2 million miles, Mars is 141.6 million miles, Jupiter is 483.6 million miles, Saturn is 870 million miles, Uranus is 1.78 billion miles, Neptune is 2.8 billion miles, and Pluto is 3.6 billion miles away.

The distance between us and the stars in our universe is amazing. Proxima Centauri, the second farthest star from earth, is 25 trillion miles away from earth. Now warp your mind around d this. Betelgeuse in Orion is 520 light years away! 1 light year is 6 trillion miles! You do the math. Yeah, we’re small.

The distance between us and the Andromeda galaxy is 2.9 million light years away. We are extremely tiny. Yet, “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16” He loves us! Tiny literally whiney, microscopic specs and this scale, He talks about us and cares about our problems. Can we just thank Him for loving us? Can just we surrender our lives to Him?

Friday, December 11, 2009

God Answers Prayer

Like all moms who love Jesus do, I pray daily for all my kids.
Lately, upon occasion, I've been texting or direct messaging via twitter a reminder to them that I'm praying.

I just got this email from daughter Susan (missionary in Swaziland) regarding one of those reminders.

Thank you, Mom, for your prayers for protection. Yesterday was a great day for that.

Ben was taking a couple home last night (they stuck around our house a little while after the team to discuss their maybe moving out here). On the way a head-on collision occurred right in front of them. Drunk driver. Had they gotten to the intersection a few seconds before, they’d have been T-boned. Ben would have received the brunt of it. It could have killed him. They’d just been talking about God’s protection.

This morning Ben told me the reality of what happened last night was sinking to him in a little more. He had a brush with death, but God protected him.

I looked up the reference you gave me in the direct tweet, and now my Bible is open on my lap to it: “The declaration of the Lord: ‘I will be a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory within it.’”

Yay. So glad He’s watching out for His kids.

I love you. Praying for you too.


I think I'm going to dance...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

On Refining Silver...

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Electronically Challenged Seniors

Only when one reaches a certain age (I'm not quite there yet) will the following essay apply. Poor man who wrote it. This is another one of those emails I received that I feel compelled to share. Enjoy!

Things are spiraling out of control. I think I have become lost in a world of electronic madness.

One of my sons informed me this week that my cell phone has become obsolete and I must head down to the Cell Phone store and get a phone that is contemporary with the time.
I pointed out that the fancy Razor/Slim line phone with camera built in that he made me trade my perfectly good flip-top Motorola cell phone for two years ago still works perfectly fine. Well, except for the camera thing. Never could figure that out.. Even the few times I actually did take pictures I couldn't figure what to do with them and gave up.

That is except when I would push the wrong button and take a video of the
ceiling or my feet.

Seems the issue is that I am unable to text with the tiny little 3 character buttons. "Hi, son," would come out looking like, "Gh Qmo." My grandkids have even spoken to my wife about Poppa's crazy text messages. Give me a break. Whatever happened to actually talking on a phone? Isn't that what they were invented for?

They want me to get one of those phones that you can turn upside down and sideways and has a typewriter keyboard with keys about one-eighth the size of my pinky finger.

One of my four sons is a realtor whose real occupation is fly fishing. "Way to go,son." Or in my text language, "Xbz um Io, rmo."

We were floating the Yakima River in his guide quality drift boat south of Ellensburg, Washington. We were miles from anything remotely resembling civilization. Rock canyon walls were on either side of us. Bear with me as I try to explain this strange thing.

His "Blackberry" rang. It was blue and I asked him why it wasn't called a Blueberry. He shook his head with that "dealing with an elder" despair look I get a lot these days. It was another realtor who called to say that the sellers he represented had agreed to my son's client's changes and he had the signed documents in hand.

My son told him to FAX the papers to his office and he would get them signed and Faxed back, to close the deal that morning. A minute later the phone rang and he hit a few buttons and looked over the FAX, now on the Yakima River with us.

He then called his clients and told them he was Faxing the papers to them to sign and asked them to FAX them back to his office. While he was waiting, he hooked into a fat rainbow and was just releasing this 22 inch beauty as his phone rang again with the signed FAX from his clients.

He called the other realtor and told him he was sending the signed papers back by FAX. The deal was closed. He smiled and just said, "You are a little behind the times, Dad." I guess I am.

I thought about the sixty million dollar a year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and communicated with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Nobles talking to my wife as everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. Seems I have to take my hearing aid out to use it and got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-ul-ating" You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then when I would make a right turn instead, it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GSP lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone ring.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop.

I bought some of those cloth re-usable bags to avoid looking confused but never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or Plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My sister-in-law sent me this in an email. You may have already read it, but such a spiritual lesson there is in it...

The Ant and the Contact Lens: a true story

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.

"Great," she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains.

She thought of the Bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff, they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But if You want me to carry it, I will."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a WHAT?

So there it was, squiggling on my kitchen floor near the window. Brownish-pink with dark stripes going from head to tail, with the weirdest head we'd ever seen--sort of triangle shaped.

Dave stepped on it, pulverized it with his shoe. We mopped it up with paper towels.

Then I checked it out on the internet. Google is pretty awesome.

It was simply an odd thing called Shovel-headed garden worm.