Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dry Bones

Yesterday's weather was a microcosm of our water troubles. The esteemed National Weather Service warned of severe thunderstorms and locally heavy rain. Rain chances were to begin after midnight and last through the evening. In actuality, a single line of storms moved through. The heaviest of the rain, of course, somehow missed our humble abode and the result was a beggarly .13".

Our water supply, Lake Lavon, managed to gain a bit of water, going from 41.09% of capacity to 41.20%. During this drought, the lake typically has been going down around .20% a day. One doesn't have to be a CPA to figure out that the lake won't be around much longer unless help arrives soon.

One ray of hope: at least one hurricane expert expects October to be very active in the Caribbean and the Gulf. While I don't wish trouble for anyone on the coast, Texas and particularly north Texas needs a system to bring us a quick 20" or so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

On my love for Carole...

I love my wife now more than I ever have.

At first blush, such a statement smacks of lunacy or delusion. After all, how can one outdo the consuming love of courtship and engagement...when every minute away from your love is agony and every minute with her is ectasy? Or how could I possibly feel more love now than I did in our first year of marriage, when we were experiencing life together for the first time and understanding what God had in mind for two people who love each other?

I think I can best explain this by relating an experience on one of our October trips to Vermont. We had timed the turning of the leaves perfectly, and after an hour of so driving country roads and beholding the expanse of red and gold trees, we would declare that this was God's penultimate handiwork on this earth, that nothing...absolutely no place on this planet could match what our brain was seeing through our eyes. And then, we would go around a bend and see a valley down below, awash in every color between gold and crimson, with a white-steepled church in the middle. And we would have to expand our minds even more.

That is what my love for my wife is like. Without selling short any measure of love I've had for her in the past, I must say it is deeper now. Perhaps it is because when I hold her now, hold her tight, we both can feel what we've been through together the past 34 years...the triumphs and the tragedies, the work days and the vacation days, the children and now the grandchildren. You really can sense all of that in an embrace. And it reaches to the depth of your soul.

The neat thing is, God willing, we have many more bends in the road yet to travel through. And when we're approaching the end of our stay here, I will love her even more.

Thank you, Carole, for all you mean to me.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Nice Gesture

Every day at DFW Airport, troops are brought home from Iraq. Some of them for good, others for a brief couple of weeks.

They all get the same treatment. The fire/rescue people give the arriving plane a water-cannon salute (see above). And once the weary troops (the flight originates in Shannon, Ireland) step off the plane, dozens of local volunteers form a double line and applaud as each soldier leave the gate.

Very cool gestures by very nice folks for very deserving men and women.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pain for the Lord

One of the things I've been able to do with my retirement-induced free time is help with our "Sharing and Caring" ministry at church. Every other Tuesday, we get a shipment of food from the North Texas Food Bank. It has to be unloaded, brought into the building, and stacked.

Yesterday, we had over a ton and a half of can goods, pinto beans, and milk. Al Fannin and Herb Tyler helped as we lifted the boxes twice...once to get out of the truck and again when figured out where to stack them.

So today, I have a pulled muscle in my back. It's a muscle that is halfway down the left side and seems to disappear under the shoulder blade, effectively hiding from any attempts to massage it. But in a way, I'm glad.

We have such a comfortable life as Christians, seldom suffering persecution or pain for our faith. It's really a dangerous state in which to be...comfort attracts Satan, in fact the slithery "father of all lies" probably created the comfort in the first place. Comfort encourages self-congratulation and self-reliance, both antithetical to our quest to be Christ-like and Christ-dependent.

So my little muscle pull is, in a small way, bringing me some satisfaction this morning. I took one for the team.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Volleyball is a girlie game.

That's what I thought prior to this school year. I'm a basketball guy. Born, bred and raised on roundball. My kids all played b-ball and played it well. But I found girls' basketball tedious and tiresome, a stuttering ordeal punctuated with squeals and turnovers.

Somehow during all those years, I managed to not see a single v-ball game. So my preconceptions lingered.

But now I've seen several games of high school volleyball. And I'm amazed at the differences between girls' basketball and girls' volleyball. Gone is the clumsy effort at dribbling, replaced by graceful, acrobatic, violent spikes. Gone are the squeals of frustration by girlies trying to rebound and shoot - replaced by helpful screams of "I've got it" and "Short!".

In short, it's a match made in athletic heaven.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Twenty-something Jesus

I've got a lot of questions I want to ask God when I get the chance. Of course, my mind may be somewhere else when I get to heaven, just as it is here in Rockwall, TX. But I am curious about the timing of things in Jesus' life.

Why did His ministry begin at age 30? Why was he baptized "late"? Why did His ministry last only 3 years? I don't really understand the quiet years when Jesus was in his 20's. Was this decade needed to harden Him emotionally for the volatile times ahead? Why was the time not right yet?

I would imagine that Christ had so many mixed emotions during that time. He probably lay awake at night...not wondering where the materials for His current carpentry job would come from, but imagining how politically incorrect his mission would be...and what His apostles would be like...and how tough it would be to cast aside friendships when he switched from carpenter to evangelist...and maybe even how cold, rusty nails felt when driven through palms.

I wonder how much He missed His heavenly father. And surely He worried about Joseph and Mary, and how difficult the 3 years would be for them.

Surely, no other twenty-something human ever dealt with such a mental burden.

And yet, He saw it through. He did not cave in, capitulate, or cower.

Our Savior was quite a guy.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cool Shots

I thought it had been too long since I shared the some of the latest shots in aviation photography with my legions of readers. I threw in the Southwest Airlines shot and the American Airlines photo to leaven the loaf. Uh, they're mine.