Until We Meet Again

One week ago tonight we received a text message that Ray Wells, our dear friend for many years, had collapsed and stopped breathing. Although, they were able to get him breathing again, he never woke up again and left this world early Sunday morning.

Today was his service. Having been a part of the sheriff’s department for over 40 years.  He touched a lot of lives both young and old. This was evident in the stories that were told today. Without a doubt he was a man who lived life with no regrets. After his first heart attack he asked the Lord to live long enough to see his kids get married and may be even have a grand kid. Not only did God give him that time but he ended up with 2 grandchildren, including one named after him.

At his service our Pastor used the life that Ray lived to challenge all in attendance, including close to 100 sheriff’s deputies and explorers (kids 14-20 who think they want a future in the sheriff’s department) to live life with no regrets. To live life with the peace, joy, and love that Ray had lived.  And there’s only one way to do that, ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.  He had an “altar” call, though he didn’t have them come down front he asked them to raise their hands.  No eyes closed either.  Probably 20 people raised their hands and said, “Yes, I want this Jesus that Ray knew.”

Even though the pain is still very real and very deep for not only the family but for many of us who knew him, there is rejoicing. Rejoicing that he’s with his  Lord, rejoicing that even in death he’s making an impact on lives.

Ray will be missed by those who loved him.  I still expect to see him tomorrow morning, but it’s slowly sinking in that he won’t be there.  So until we meet again Ray!

See You Around

This past Sunday at about 1:30 am a dear friend went home to be with the Lord. It’s been a tough week dealing with this lost.  Today driving home I was listing to Petra when this song came on and reminded me of some of the foundational truths.  That we shall be together again where there will be no more fears and no more tears.
And for our Spanish  speaking friends….

2011–A look Back 2012–A Look Forward

Here I am in Carlsbad, though this year we are staying in the EconoLodge instead of the Rodeway Inn. The EconoLodge had only a slightly higher rate with a full breakfast. The really interesting part is the boys and I stayed at this facility a few years ago, before it was owned by the Choice hotels, it was called the Travel Lodge and to say it was a skanky pit would be polite. I was curious and hoped I wasn’t making a mistake. Oh my, I did NOT make a mistake! Choice has done an amazing job fixing this place up. The room is beautiful! One of the larger rooms we’ve had in a motel, flat screen TV. It’s just an incredible transformation from the skanky, no a/c hole that I could only spend a few hours in (we actually left in the middle of the night because it was too hot to sleep)  Here’s the picture I took with my phone.

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Anyway, as I look at my goals that I wrote this time last year, I did fairly well.

Goal 1 – Read the Old Test chronologically. Check! It was great to read the OT that way. It helped me understand the interplay between the history books and the prophets. The Thomas Nelson Chronological Study Bible was a great tool. They told a lot of the history as well.

Goal 2 – An average of 4 work outs a week. I did fairly well with this, but did have lapses. Part of it was due to the tendonitis in my foot other times it was my depression and not caring about life.

Goal 3 – Read 50 books. CHECK! Finished #50 this afternoon. Read a lot of good books.

Goal 4 – Blogging… didn’t do as well at that as I should.  No real excuse… just didn’t get it done.

Other accomplishments this year:

  • I finished my Master’s Degree!!!!
  • Mark and I took an amazing road trip vacation to northern California and back.
  • I started shooting Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball as well as football.

There might be more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

  As I look forward to 2012 I’m not sure what major things I want to accomplish. But here are some things that I know I want to do:

  1. See Bible 360 to completion, check it out at: mybible360.blogspot.com
  2. Read 50 books
  3. Create a budget (novel I know)
  4. Manage my checkbook (yes, I know NOVEL)
  5. Exercise an average of 4 times a week.
  6. Build the followers of Favorite Christian Books website.
  7. Be off blood pressure medicine by next New Year’s Eve!!! Which means a lot of work, but hopefully I’ll be up for the challenge.

Tomorrow I’ll post my goals for January. I like the idea of monthly goals that hopefully feed into the goals for the year.

There are changes happening this year. A little scary but I have to trust that all will work out for the best.

Happy New Year!

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IMT East–THe Ugly

I have mentioned a few times that IMT East is a triple wide trailer.  Keep in mind there is no foundation on for a trailer (I’ve mentioned that as well!) So for many years IMT East has not only been the home of the Academic Computer Lab, programmers, developers, and the like, it has been home to possums, raccoons, skunks and who knows what else. 

So many times we came to work on the morning to the “lovely” aroma of an angry skunk or worse yet when the circle life concludes and we come in to the smell of decomp (yes, I’m a CSI fan! Not sure about the adding of Ted Danson to the cast, should be interesting). Oh how I won’t miss this place…

Oh and then there’s the musty smell, I’m not going to miss the entering the office and going into a sneezing fit.  Leave the office the sneezing, itchy eyes go away, like magic!  Oh how I won’t miss this place…

Then, of course, there was the Northridge Earthquake.  I came into the office later that morning and met up with Sue in the ACC and noticed the sunlight shining through the wall near the roof line on the north end of the building. Every earthquake I think of that lovely light shining through…  Oh HOW I won’t miss this place… (though 680 is a little scary when you think about earthquakes)

There’s the sloping floor in several places the best is in Don’s office. But I’m just too tired to go into all that… let me just say I OH SO WON’T MISS THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Final Hurdle

This afternoon I completed the final hurdle in this race I have been running since 2003, the oral exam of my Philosophy of Ministry paper. This is a paper that I started in January and when I turned it in last month it was 50 pages. It was a great process and it reminded me of where I have come from and hopefully will guide and encourage me into the future.

It was really hard to prepare for today. I knew I would be facing 3 faculty members and my professor from class. Two of the faculty members I knew well the third I did not. I had no idea what they might ask so I went into the meeting with a copy of my paper, my Bible and a prayer.

Of course, I had the nightmare last night. It seems before any big event I have this horrible dream of how things go wrong. Last Christmas before Christmas Sunday it was the musicians were late and I didn’t know any of them and I couldn’t find my music. Just a few weeks ago the night before Easter my dream was when I arrived at church Easter morning the trustees were remodeling the stage and building this choir loft that was on the sides of the wall. Last night’s dream was equally as far fetched but unnerving none the less. I was helping someone with their computer far from campus. In the dream it was almost like a mountain cabin. I couldn’t get back in time for my defense so I was trying to set up Skype to do it that way. Crazy huh?

Anyway, the session went well, I felt good about it. I received wonderful encouragement from my panel. After they told me they were passing me, I gave each of them a thank you card and a bottle of Welch’s sparkling grape juice!

Tomorrow night is the Graduate School of Theology’s Hooding ceremony. No idea what what it is exactly, but I know it is not them putting hoods over our heads and beating us with a stick! Saturday morning is graduation. It is weird to think I am not in school anymore… Of course, there just might be something down the line!

Merry Christmas to All and to All A Good Night!

Christmas is almost done. It’s hard to believe.  I’m tired, mainly because I’m sick.  I’ve got this stupid cough, the type that aches all the way to my head.  I hate being sick, but what am I going to do.  Make sure I’ve got all my music for tomorrow and crawl into bed.  Oh there will be some drugs involved before I crawl into bed trust me.
I hope all have had a Merry Christmas.  I hope you’ve taken time to reflect on what Christmas is all about.  Sadly, I’m not sure I have as much as I should have.  I’ve let the busyness of lfie keep me distracted.  But as the writer of Lamentations writes in chapter 3:  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (22-23). Each day I have the opportunity to take time to reflect. In the meantime, one of my favorite Christmas memories growing up was watching this Bing Crosby Christmas special with David Bowie

Twelve Days of Christmas

I’m passing on a post from Amy Deardon, a writer “friend” of mine. Even though we’ve never met, we’ve shared many emails.  I look forward to someday meeting her in person.  She has an amazing story of how she came to the Lord.  She ha written a very fun book that is a mix of end times and Biblical history.  You can learn more about Amy, her books, and her story at: http://www.amydeardon.com/

Last week she shared this story about the Christian Code in the 12 Days of Christmas on her blog: http://amydeardon.blogspot.com/ Here’s what she shared…

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

Let us Never Forget

September 11, 2001 changed our lives forever.  We should never forget the lives that were lost. We should never forget the men and women of law enforcement and the firefighters who sacrificed their lives to help others.  We should never forget the men and women of our armed forces who fought for our freedom.

Yesterday on the West Campus Lawn you could see this display of 3100 flags to honor those that lost their life 9 years ago.