Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31 – “WalMart, watermelon, and walkers”


Cailyn stole the hearts of our visitors from Arlington yesterday.  Nathan and April went to a movie, so Cailyn had the opportunity to spend an hour or two over here at Nani and DadDad's house.  Only thing was, there were some strange new big people around. 


When Cailyn meets new folks, she is shy and retiring.  Her usual response is to physically hide behind whoever is there that she is already comfortable with.  Like most other little guys in my experience, the best approach with her is to be pleasant, but don't make any attempts to invade her space until she has decided for herself if you can be trusted.  Then she will slowly, carefully open up and before you know it, she will explode with personality. 


She never did totally accept the college students.  They were too impatient.  It was not for lack of trying, though.  They attempted to gain favor through talking and high fives and offering food.  Just never did happen for them, though.  The "older adult" sponsor was another story.  Cary constantly talked to her, called her by name, asked her questions and didn't care if she answered or not.  He kept his distance, but entered into her creative play.  And as a result, when he left to take the students to Moody Gardens, Cailyn missed him and asked, "Where's Mr. Cary?" 


At one point she found Mom's walker and it became the center of her play.  She said, "I'm MoeMoe," and walked around pushing the walker.  Then, all of sudden, the gleam of an idea came into her eye.  "I'm MoeMoe and I'm going to WalMart.  Bye.  See you later."  She waved to us all and pushed off toward the other room.  Before she got far something caught her eye.  "Oh," she said, picking up her doll, "Baby's going to WalMart too."  And after a second, she added, "Come on, DadDad."  I got invited to accompany her on her journey, so I walked with her.  As we approached the front door she stopped and bent down, pretending to pick something up.  It took me a second to get oriented to her world.  "What are you picking up?" I asked.  "We're getting some watermelon," was the reply, as she placed the imaginary fruit into the … the shopping cart.  Of course, the walker was the perfect shopping cart.  And just in case I had forgotten, she looked up at me and reiterated, "I'm MoeMoe, and I'm going to WalMart to get some watermelon with my walker."  "Got it," I replied.  "Are we getting anything else?"  She thought for a moment.  "Ice cream."  Ah.  That's my girl.


When her Mom and Dad came to pick her up, the students were still gone.  But she went in turn to each of us and gave her special hugs and kisses.  First MoeMoe.  Then … after only a brief hesitation … Mr. Cary.  Nani and got some attention as well, but of course she saved the best for last and good old DadDad.


Proverbs 21:2 says, "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart."


Father, I think Cailyn has a way of weighing the heart – understanding motive – knowing where you are coming from – as well.  Help me learn to check my motive before executing my plans.  Amen.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30 – “Guests”


We had four college students (three guys and a girl) and an extra adult from Arlington spend the night with us last night.  Well, I guess "adult" is a good word to describe Cary, the guy we have known for many years.  He is a great guy and has a real heart for missions.  And they are here to do some mission work for the Galveston Urban Ministries group that ministers to low income folks here on the Island.  The team from Arlington was going to stay at Seaside, but we offered them the option to just crash here, and they took it.


They went to the beach shortly after they arrived to take advantage of the big waves and rough surf generated by Tropical Storm Don.  We didn't get much rain after all, but it sure felt good to have what we did get.  The group is going to do help Galveston Urban Ministries put in a floor while they are here today, then join us for worship at Seaside tomorrow. 


We got a bit of encouragement concerning the abandoned house next door.  Apparently a few more of the neighbors have been getting together and making some noise with the city's code enforcement group about getting the house torn down.  I got copied in on their emails back and forth with them and with the management company that mows the grass.  Sounds like this lady is not one to give up easily.  I emailed her and told her we were behind her a hundred percent.


Headed for Academy today.  Chris plans to return a shirt she bought, and I need some more Tevas.  Mine have a pretty serious tear in them, and I have to have some sandals.  After all, I live on Gilligan's Island.


Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases."


Father, thank you for caring enough to be in control even of those in the highest places of authority.  Influence them mightily.  Amen.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29 – “The Plank”


Physical therapy ate my lunch yesterday.  I could barely do one of the exercises, and that was with him making allowances for the old guy.  It was called, The Plank.  You have to lay on your side, point your toes, and then make your body as straight and rigid as you can (like a plank) while lifting up on your toes and forearm.  Oh, and then hold it for twenty seconds.  And then do it again.  Three times.  I almost fell off the table once when I lost my balance.  He moved me to the mat closer to the floor.  Thanks for the vote of confidence, Buddy.  Try it and let me know how it affects you.  My triceps trembled all the way home, and they are really sore today. 


We thought we would be waiting for Tropical Storm Don today, but it looks like it took a turn to the West.  Now it looks like we might not even get much, if any, rain.  That's not good news.  Unless you're involved in the wedding I have scheduled for tonight.  It's outdoors in front of the San Luis Hotel.  I told them at rehearsal last night that Plan B at this hotel is sometimes much better that outside in the gazebo.  One wedding I did got rained out.  They moved it indoors to one of the ballrooms, helped with decorations, and the owner of the hotel happened to be in town (instead of at one of his Las Vegas casinos), so he sent them a bottle of champagne.  Not to mention the fact that it was much cooler inside.


Speaking of much cooler, one of my plans for today is to buy a short-sleeved shirt that goes with my marryin' and buryin' suit.  The only dress shirt I have left from pre-Hurricane Ike days is long-sleeves.  Surely WalMart has a simple, white dress shirt with short sleeves.  Read here … cooler.  Sometimes those outdoor weddings in July and August are ridiculously hot.  I don't know how the groomsmen stand it in tuxes. 


I got a text from Kel last night.  He invited me to meet him at the movie theater to see an early showing of Cowboys and Aliens today.  I've been waiting for this one.  Sounds like a lot of fun. 


Speaking of texting, I got my first call on my new phone Wednesday.  And I had no idea how to answer it.  And when I wanted to make a call yesterday, it took me awhile to figure out where to go to do that.  Something is wrong with this picture.  It is a phone, isn't it?  Oh, well.  I'm not going to stress over it.  I'll just go see if anybody has ever sent me a Words with Friends game.  Or maybe I'll try to figure out how to send one to someone else.  Or I could play that "slingshot the birds into the wobbly towers and kill pigs" game.  What a phone.


Proverbs 20:29 says, "The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old."


Father, I'm feeling kind of splendorous today.  I looked in the mirror.  Thanks for all the years and experiences and memories that have gone into this gray hair.   Amen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28 – “iphones”


We got our new iphones the other day.  Well, it's not that we had iphones before.  We still had those antiques that slid open and continually got messages like "Your phone is too ignorant to receive this incredibly cute picture of your grandkids."  Very frustrating.  Speaking of antiques, Mom still has a phone that I so old I don't even remember how to get it to work for her.  Very simple, but very not-user-friendly.


The weird thing about the new phones is that we could have gotten them for free.  After standing there in the AT&T store for almost two hours listening to the salesgirl explain all the different uses – I felt like she was being oh so careful to point out important things to us oldsters who could never in a million years figure out anything on our own – we finally got home and I went to file the receipt.  She said we had a month to decide whether or not the phones were "beyond what we expected," so I didn't want to lose it.  And there was no receipt in the bag.  The car chargers were there.  The microdisk memory card for downloading all the pictures from Chris' phone was there.  The empty cartons the phone cases came in were there.  The boxes with our earphones and home chargers that came with the phone were there.  But no receipt.


So I headed back down to the store to get our copy.  I figured she just forgot to put it in the bag.  She forgot something all right, but it wasn't to put it in the bag.  She searched for it in the printer.  Behind the printer.  Under the printer.  In the computer.  That was the strange part.  I had swiped my card.  But the computer had no record of our ever being in the store.  Apparently she forgot to push the final "kill" button on her computer that told it the sale was final and it could send the charge information off to the credit card company.  She was of course horrified.  She started making excuses like, "That must have been when you started asking questions," and "Remember I was trying to download your pictures and contacts …"  Of course it was all our fault.  She asked if I had the bag of stuff we bought.  I said it was at home.  She called over her manager to find out what to do.  They eventually had to reenter everything we purchased and redo the whole transaction.  They got it all straightened out and I got my receipt this time. 


I wonder if they would have discovered the mistake?  Oh, well.  It was the right thing to do.  Now I have to figure out how to download apps and play that Words with Friends game with somebody.  My code name is pkgalveston.  Invite me for a game.


Proverbs 20:27 says, "The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being."


Father, come on in and search away.  I don't want to hide anything from you.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27 – “It is what it is.”

Physical therapy went well yesterday.  I had to go through another complete evaluation - for my lower back this time.  Question after question and the dreaded, "on a scale of one to ten what is your pain …"  I still don't understand how that could help anything.  Either it hurts or it doesn't.  And even then, what do you mean by hurt?  Does the tingling and numbness equal hurt?  Very frustrating stuff.  Apparently the stenosis is the big stumbling block to the type of exercising I can do.  If there is not much room for the nerve to get through, there's just not much room.  Nothing but surgery can change that.


Once we got to the actual exercises she did say I was a good student.  I was apparently doing them correctly.  Only two of them were particularly difficult.  One she called the Plank.  You lay on your stomach, stiffen up your body and raise up on your elbows and toes.  That was tough, but the real killer was doing basically the same thing, except on your side.  That meant using only one elbow and raising the other over your head for balance.  Ouch.


Her parting comments sounded like common sense stuff to me.  Keep doing the right stuff.  Don't sit at your desk for too long at a time – get up and move around.  Chris tells me that all the time, anyway.  And she even reminds me.  Sometimes gently.  I'm supposed to start walking again, but I have to make sure I have good shoes.  That one I know I need, but my knees are rebelling at the very thought of it.  I'm supposed to bring back the green stretchy thing and trade it for a blue one.  Green is too easy.  Agreed.  Finally, she said I had the best outlook on my situation of any patient she has ever had.  It's not going to get better, so I have to learn to live with it.  My response was, "It is what it is."


Proverbs 20:27 says, "The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being."


Father, I know you know the deepest part of me.  Please keep your lamp on me.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26 – “Kingdom of God”


We went to another child dedication last night.  This one was in Kingwood. It involved another child who had recently been adopted.  Chase was as cute as he could be, and did a great job of swinging with the punches.  There were quite a few guests, including his grandmother and great grandparents from Virginia.  So that's a lot of strangers for one little almost one year old to contend with.  He handled well the part where his Mom handed him to a Christian friend to symbolize their presenting him to God.  I have to say, though, that he was quite relieved to return to her arms moments later. 


The thing that struck me about this particular family was his bedtime.  They told us he goes down for the night around 6:30 p.m. and stays asleep until eight or so the next morning.  What some parents would give for a child to sleep like that. 


I heard back from the group who was doing a Backyard Bible Club at Seaside last night.  They had no kids come, even after scouring the neighborhood and beachfront that afternoon.  Their leader was afraid I would be upset, but I assured him that was the nature of the beast in a resort area ministry.  Come to find out one of his other teams was overwhelmed with children at an apartment complex, and the apartments next door to that one were requesting a club as well.  I told him it looked like that was where God was working this week, so he should probably reassign the Seaside team to give them some help.  After all, this is about the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Seaside.  I can't wait to hear what happens over there tonight.


Oh.  Physical therapy at 8:30 this morning.  I have been a good patient this week.  Been doing my neck exercises every day.  They are not at all difficult, and they don't take that long to do.  But I guess they are highly specific in their target area, because every time I finish I am sore.  That makes them a real p[ain in the neck.  Literally.  And today I'm supposed to learn the exercises for my lower back.  This promises to turn into quite the workout.


Proverbs 20:24 says, "A man's steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?"


Father, there are plenty of times when I don't understand my own way.  Thanks for being there.  Direct away.  Amen.


Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25 – “Flower girl twirls”


Great quote from Cailyn at church yesterday.  "Baby Jesus wore a diaper, too."  That's my girl.  It was great to have lunch with her and her parents.


We had another great service.  It's always great when we get to do a baptism.  The tech team almost finished getting all the tech stuff installed through the ceiling and walls so you can't see any cables on the floor or hanging from the ceiling.  Looks great.


And then I had a wedding at a place called the Lyceum.  I thought I had never been there before, but turns out it looked very familiar when I arrived.  When I told Chris exactly where it was she remembered the connection.  We went there for an Octoberfest thing a few years ago.  The building was full of booths and people back then, though.  Yesterday it was cleared out and really looked nice for the wedding.  Lots of wood.  I liked the wood more than the floor to ceiling stained glass windows. 


Apparently the starting time changed and no one told me about it.  I was ready to begin at 5:00, but the wedding party didn't even arrive until 5:15.  We started a little after 5:30.  While we waited I got to know the flower girl a little bit.  I don't know if she was kind of scared or if her Mom was just obsessive, but Mom had her practicing dropping flower petals in the room next to the chapel area.  Over and over.  I finally suggested that she do a twirl just before each drop.  Then I suggested that instead of casually dropping them, she should toss them into the air and get in the twirl before they hit the ground.  The little girl kind of liked the idea, but when she looked to Mom for approval, Mom was horrified at the suggestion.  Just the idea was enough to get to her, but the fact that it came from the pastor and he was keeping a straight face totally confused her.  She finally managed, "I don't think that would work in that dress, Honey."


Proverbs 20:15 says, "Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel."


Father, I haven't seen all that many rubies or very much gold, but please help me be careful to speak with your knowledge.  Amen.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24 – “Captain America”


We saw Captain America yesterday.  No, not in person.  He's a comic book character.  And it's from the Marvel Universe, which everyone knows is not really real.  Now if you want to experience a real universe in comic book form, check out the early DC stuff.  You know, your basic Superman, Batman, Green Lantern.  I did like the movie, though.  And I recognized the really rich guy with the little mustache that turns into Iron Man.  But that's another movie.  Since I never did read the comics I had no prior image to be shattered by Hollywood's poetic license.  We did stay through the credits to see the preview of The Avengers.  I must say that was a waste of time.  The only somewhat recognizable character I saw was what I think was supposed to be Thor, but I haven't seen that movie yet, so I'm not sure. 


Before the movie we did some sweat work.  Chris finished weeding the big flower bed in the back yard.  I fixed a footstool.  It was in Mom's room and one of the legs fell off.  I made wooden dowel to hold the pieces together.  Hopefully that and the glue and the replacing the two finishing nails it already had in there will do the trick.  Once I finished that I started on the front flower bed.  That would be the one with all the periwinkles that showed up uninvited after Hurricane Ike.  They have been quite the tenant every year.  Once again, in spite of the drought, they have taken over the area under the sycamore tree.


I had a rehearsal at five for a wedding tonight.  Unusual situation there.  The wedding will be at the Lyceum, a chapel or something like it associated with the big Lutheran church downtown.  They couldn't get in for the rehearsal, though, so we did that in a random room at the San Luis Hotel, where the reception will be.  The room was pretty small, and they have eleven attendants … each.  Plus two ring bearers and a flower girl.  I have to hand it to them, however.  At least everyone except the flower girl was there and ready to begin.  Of course the door to the room was locked.  The front desk told us they had been moved to another room, but when the wedding coordinator arrived she knew nothing about that.  We ended up in the room we started with.  It was a little chaotic getting twenty-two twenty-somethings to calm down enough to go over the ceremony.  We finally finished the run-through and the practice exit and everyone was hanging around waiting for instructions about the rehearsal dinner, when the flower girl arrived.  They had been all over the hotel looking for us.  And they had two hotel employees as escorts.  I managed to get everyone's attention one last time, and we did one last run-through for the benefit of the little girl.  After all that Chris and I still managed to make it to some friends' house for dinner.


Proverbs 20:11 says, "Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right."


Father, guide my actions to be pure and right.  Help me remember someone is always watching me and seeing you.  Amen.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23 – “Like a sponge”


The guy who called the church the other day wanting to be baptized right away came to our Life group at the house Thursday night.  Wow.  Someone asked him how he came to call Seaside.  He told us that Seaside was the only call he made.  It just seemed to jump out at him from his computer screen.  


He was like a sponge.  He wanted to know everything all at once.  I had told him to read through the Book of James before he came.  That's what we are working through.  He said he had talked to his mom on the phone about some problems just before he started reading.  When he finished he had to call her back and tell her all about it.  Then he said he met someone on the beach and told her he was headed to a Bible Study.  She said she had always wanted to do something like that, so he invited her to join him.  She refused, but it sure verified the fact that those who are the newest believers are the most likely to share what they have in Christ. 


I gave him a copy of the Discipleship Journey Handbook I put together several years ago to introduce people to Seaside.  He said he would have it read before he went to bed that night.  I encouraged him to take it a little slower and let it sink in some, but as excited as he was, I doubt he even heard me.  The baptism is scheduled for this Sunday, and he has family members coming in from out of town to witness it. 


My eye doctor appointment in Houston went well.  He said I had a smudge on the back side of the lens he implanted last year in my cataract surgery.  That might explain why I can sometimes see better by looking out of the corner of my eye.  I do wonder where the smudge could have come from in the first place if not his finger when he was putting it in.  He said if it became a real bother he could take care of it easily enough.  All he has to do is shoot it with a laser.  Ah, the stuff of science fiction.


Proverbs 20:7 says, "The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him."


Father, I want my children to be blessed.  Help me with that blameless life part.  Amen.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22 – “Heart rates and walkers”


We took Mom to the doctor yesterday.  Well, actually we took her to the nurse practitioner in the doctor's office.  She's a lot more thorough than the doctor ever is anyway.  She ran some of the usual tests.  We are waiting on the results of those.  The only really significant thing was that her heart rate was somewhat elevated.  The idea is that maybe her heart is working so hard that it is causing her to be really tired all the time.  She already has high blood pressure, so they upped her blood pressure medicine to see if that would slow things down. 


That meant Chris had to buy a blood pressure cuff to keep track of it every day.  The way it was worded, it sounded like they didn't want her to use one of the electronic ones.  Old school, I guess.  She used to have one of those from her nursing days, but we lost it in the storm.  She found a simple one over at WalMart.  They also prescribed a walker to replace Mom's cane. 


For that we had to find the only medical supply place in Galveston.  We had been there before, but neither of us could remember exactly where it was.  I called Kel first.  He looked it up and gave us an address.  We got near there and realized that couldn't be it.  The address was now a restaurant.  Instead of calling him back, I called Nathan.  I wanted to see if he was the hero fire fighter with his picture in the paper for saving some dogs and cats from a fire.  It wasn't him, but he found a different address for the supply house.  It turned out to be the right one. 


We looked at the walkers with a built-in seat, but they all had ten speed bicycle hand brakes and we didn't think mom could push them.  Also, there was no way to lock it while she sat down, so we could just imagine her flopping again.  When Chris went to WalMart she picked up some tennis balls to put on the bottom.  That way it would move more easily and Mom wouldn't scratch up the wood floors.


We grabbed some lunch at Shrimp n Stuff and got home in plenty of time for Mom to take a nap.  We'll see how she does now. 


Today I get to go to the eye doctor in Houston for my yearly check after cataract surgery.  I just had it on one eye and he assured me I would have to have it in the other one as well some day.  Chris says that eye stays bloodshot all the time now.  Will this be the day?


Proverbs 20:5 says, "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out."


Father, we don't understand why Mom is having the trouble she is.  Give us someone with understanding from you to draw out the reasons and discover what she needs to help her.  Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 – “Another fall”


Biggest news from yesterday has to be that Mom fell.  She hasn't been feeling well again.  Sleeping a lot.  She's been doing that strange moaning every time she exhales as well.  She was on the couch when we left for WalMart.  I asked her to do some secretarial-type stuff for me.  I thought she might get a kick out of it, and it would give her something constructive to do.  And she did seem pretty excited about doing it.  When we returned I opened the door and saw her sitting on the floor, leaning against the couch with her head propped against a pillow, just like she intended to be there.  Honestly, my heart sank a bit.  I dropped the bags of groceries in the kitchen and went over to her.  I asked, "What are you doing down there?"  She replied, without missing a beat, "Well, I fell.  Your booklets are right there."  Way to go Mom.  She got the job done.  Apparently she was trying to hurry to answer the telephone and missed the little step from the den to the front hall.  Chris made her a doctor's appointment for today.


Well, aside from that, yesterday was an inside day for me.  I spent most of it in my office at home.  I began a new sermon series last week on the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, so I am still doing a lot of background study.  And Ezra starts out with one of those long boring lists of people's names, so I was tracking down some of them to see if there would be any interesting tidbits to connect with other parts of the bigger story.  Ah, part of the fun of teaching is making all the exciting little discoveries that will probably never be appropriate to actually use in the teaching. 


I had a request to possibly bring back the Discipleship Journey handbook I put together several years ago for Seaside.  Somebody read my book A Seaside Saga, and the handbook is an appendix.  I had to search my computer files, but I finally found it.  So I also spent some time yesterday doing an update on that. 


And then I typed up a wedding service.  I have one coming up Sunday evening at The Lyceum.  I'm not sure if I have done one there before.  If I did it wasn't called The Lyceum.  The rehearsal is Saturday evening at the San Luis Hotel, so I won't find out until I get there Sunday. 


I'm still working on the Bible Study for the Life Group that meets in our home tonight.  Book of James.  Chapter four.  It's some good stuff.  All about drawing near to God and resisting the devil. 


And we did manage that trip to WalMart in there somewhere.  You gotta eat.  I had to admit I needed to get up and move around some.  Which reminds me.  I also did some of the neck exercises the physical therapist taught me, and now my neck and back are pretty sore.  That means it'll be a challenge to do them again today.  WooHoo.  Can't wait.


Proverbs 20:3 says, "It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel."


Father, please give the doctor some extra wisdom today so we can find out what's up with Mom.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20 – “It rained”


Rain.  Great thing to wake up to in the middle of a drought.  And it stuck around for most of the day, too.  Maybe it will make a return visit soon.  Of course that will mean the grass will grow quicker.  And the weeds in the flower beds.  At this point, though, it's definitely worth the trade-off.


The other night when Cailyn was here she would walk around the house randomly saying, "I'm at Nanny and DadDad's house."  I'm not sure if she was happy to be here or just trying to establish the reality of her existence in the universe.


A guy called the church yesterday wanting to get baptized right away.  The folks there gave him my cell number, and we talked for a long time.  The baptism is set for Sunday.  That's always a plus.  We get to walk to the beach as part of Sunday worship service.  Once again, when the church does its best to do what God has called us to do, he will get in the evangelism business.


I had my first session of physical therapy yesterday.  The therapist was very good.  Actually seemed to know her stuff.   She was kind of unprofessional, though.  Cussed a few times.  In the interview she mentioned that she had had another patient named Kelley Vaughan, but he was much younger.  I told her, "Thanks a lot for that.  I'm the old guy, right?"  I was just kidding.  I told her I knew of at least two others on the Island.  She asked if I knew the one who worked at Starbucks and was some kind of minister on the side.  "That one," I said, "would be my son."  Her response?  "Oh, is his name Kelley Vaughan, too?"  I thought that's where we started.


She gave me some exercises to strengthen the muscles in my neck.  She also said I need to work on pulling my shoulders back so I don't get all slumped over and hunchbacked as I get older.  So it's the older guy thing again, huh?  She was impressed with my posture in general and said my gait was very good.  So I'm a success at, what?  Standing up and walking.  Makes you feel kind of like a toddler.  Thanks, Mommy.  The last thing was lying on heating pads and electrical stimulation of the muscles in my neck and shoulder.  I was scared about that.  The last time they did something like that it aggravated the nerves and ultimately resulted in speeding up my last surgery.  Didn't happen this time, though.  I actually dozed off for awhile.  Next week she starts in on my lower back.  Can't wait.


Proverbs 19:23 says, "The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble."


Father, I know fear is healthy respect and awe.  I give you that.  Thank you for the promise of safety.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19 – “Harry Potter and a conquering hero”


We finally saw the last Harry Potter movie yesterday.  They didn't all die after all.  But we knew that.  We read the books.  There was a modest crowd in there with us, but Chris made the astute observation that they must not have been very strong Harry Potter fans.  They didn't cheer when Belatrix got zapped by Mrs. Weasley, and as far as I could see there was not a single tear shed among the group.  I wondered how they were going to portray the older Harry and Ron and Hermoine.  I was surprised.  They didn't really.  It looked like they were still teenagers dressed up in mommy and daddy's clothes.  Very strange.  I liked the fight scene, though.  There just wasn't enough of it.  A friend of ours in Arlington said she measured the end of this series as the end of her children's childhood.  Now that's a bit extreme.  I guess she was actually talking about the length of time it took to produce all the movies.


After the movie I went fishing for awhile.  It turned out to be rougher than it looked at first.  I was hoping to at least land a few whiting to eat.  For a long time I only had one, and I was almost ready to set him free and head home.  I tried the dead shrimp and cut eel I brought.  I switched to artificial bait.  I even switched back to try the dead shrimp again.  Things were looking pretty bleak.  But as often happens I caught one more.  Then I caught a small croaker.  Croakers are encouraging catches.  If they're big enough they are good to eat.  If they are smaller, they make good cut bait.  I was rapidly running out of bait, so I decided to make one more cast.  And I got a hit.  It felt like a good one, too.  Took off on a run pulling out the drag.  Then it started back right at me, so I had to reel fast to keep up.  I finally landed it.  It was keeper red fish.  Good eating there.  I had him in the dip net and was pulling over the net well to put him in there when the line holding the well to my belt broke loose.  Now there's some fun.  I had to chase it into shore holding my pole and the dip net with the red and dragging my bait bucket .  Ended well, though.  I got to it just before it got to the rocks.  Cailyn was at the house when I got there, so I came home as the conquering hero fisherman. 


2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty."


Father, thank you for interludes of release like watching a movie and going fishing.  Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18 – “It was a good day”


For the second week in a row we had a packed house at church.  The music was great, but I sure have missed our violin player.  Hope he's back soon.  Chris counted around 70 people there.  That almost fills up our present setup.  Several large families visited.  One family said they just moved to Sea Isle, and they would definitely be back.  And several of them said afterwards that they really enjoyed worship.  The folks who went upstairs to see the mural were almost as amazed as I was.  All in all, it was a good day.


Not to mention that it was dinner on the grounds week.  Everybody brought dessert.  Actually we did have a casserole that Chris made and some potato soup that David made.  Kelly then came in with some cold cuts, and someone else remembered some barbecue frozen in the freezer.  We had more than enough.  It always works out.  God is still in the multiplying food business.


After that we had a great meeting of the "Miscellaneous team."  The group was created last week to figure out what point people we need for various ministries of the church and what their roles and responsibilities should be.  Great spirit of unity and cooperation among the group.  Everyone seemed very excited about where we are headed.


I hoped to go to the movies in the afternoon, but we decided to stick around the house.   Chris had a headache and I wasn't sure I could stay awake.  So we decided we would go today.  But then I got a call asking if my 11:00 marriage counseling appointment could be changed to 1:00.  Great.  Now I don't know if we'll get to go this afternoon either. 


Last night we watched the rest of the shows we had saved on TV.  We even watched the movie we had on hand – The Adjustment Bureau.  Very strange philosophy/theology involved concerning free will and the role of angels.  I have to think about that one.


Proverbs 19:20 says, "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise."


Father, thank you for sending folks to me all the time with good advice.  Help me be a receiver.  Amen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17 – “Tevoed”


Things were very quiet around the Vaughan house last night.  We took the girls to Bay City to meet their parents yesterday afternoon.  They couldn't decide if they were ready or not to go back home.  On the one hand they did want to see their Mom and Dad, but on the other hand, Uncle Kelley and Aunt Chris were pretty amazing to hang out with.  I'm sure the proximity of the beach had nothing to do with it.  Mom rode along with us, so she was pretty tired when we got back.  She went to bed at 8:00.  Chris and I just crashed on the couch and watched some of the shows we tevoed (is that a word?  It was easier to say when we taped stuff onto a VCR tape) over the past three weeks. 


I got the longest text I have ever received yesterday.  We were at the McDonald's in Bay City talking with the girls' parents when the warning signal went off.  It was from the wife of the youth pastor of the Birdville church group that led our Vacation Bible School last week.  She said that one of our guys had invited her husband to go fishing, but he had to turn him down because he felt too guilty leaving the group to work while he disappeared to fish.  He just couldn't reconcile the leader going AWOL.  The offer, however, put a bug into his wife's brain.  She was thinking it would be a great birthday gift to him if they could come back down as a family and let him go fishing.  Now that's some good thinking on her part.  I assured her we would see to it that he got some fishing in, even if it was just wade fishing in the surf.  Sounds like they will be here towards the end of August.  Her actual request was if I would contact the guy who invited him and give them his phone number, and give them some ideas of places to stay down here.  Chris said I should have offered to let them stay at the church since they were already so familiar with it.  I think they were looking for someplace with a bit more privacy and comfort.  We'll get them taken care of.


Proverbs 19:14 says, "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord."


Father, I don't know about the houses and wealth part, but I sure do agree with the wife part.  Thanks for Chris.  Amen.