Posts filed under ‘Politics’
Knowing what family and friends in the Northwest are going through, related to weather, I really can’t complain about here. It has been really cold but no snow to speak of and the wind has been mostly under 20mph, for the last couple of days, which is nice. The best thing about out here weather wise is that the sun almost always shines. Sun does make things better.
Item one. Speaking of weather. This article from the Seattle PI caught my eye this morning with these fun facts about Seattle weather:
• The biggest snowstorm of the last century was in 1916, when 33 inches fell between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3. That storm holds the record for the most snow falling in 24 hours, at 21.5 inches between 5 p.m. Feb. 1 and 5 p.m. the next day.
• During an unexpected storm that began on Jan. 13, 1950, the Puget Sound area was choked by almost 2 feet of snow that fell in 24 hours. Winds whipped the snow into drifts 6 feet high and blinded those caught out and about, making it the area’s only snowfall on record to be considered an actual blizzard. The storm left 13 people dead and caused $1 million in damage.
• Seattle’s snowiest winter on record was in 1968-69, with a total of 67.5 inches.
• A storm beginning on Dec. 18, 1990, dumped a foot of snow in and around Seattle. Teachers stayed overnight with 2,600 stranded pupils at 37 schoolhouses around King County rather than send them off into the hazardous elements.
• A series of snow, ice and rainstorms beginning on Dec. 26, 1996, caused 16 deaths in the state and $57 million in damages in Seattle and King County. Two storms — one dumping 6-12 inches and another of 10 inches of wet snow — followed by heavy rain collapsed carports and covered boat moorings and snapped power lines.
The full article can be found HERE. Hopefully no records will be broken this week!
Item two. We are into the third year of living full time in our RV and the last couple of weeks have been the most trying, that I can remember. We like most things about it; little maintenance, can be cleaned in a few minutes, not much stuff to store or take care of, we can live anywhere… But what isn’t good about it is severe weather. We have been really fortunate for most of the time we have lived on wheels to be in places where the weather is warm most of the time. Last year we were in Arizona at this point. We are still planning to be in Arizona for most of the winter but we really miscalculated the time to head out this year. We have frozen up a couple of times, go through the propane like we never have before, which fogs up the windows and I find I worry more about what might happen to the rig than I like. I guess that is the trade off for living this lifestyle.
Item three. We are leaving in the morning sometime, (Tuesday) to drive to Washington via Colorado. We will spend Christmas with my father, brother and his family and then start driving toward the NW. My father will be 85 in March so wanted to spend some time with him during the holidays. This will be the first Christmas not spent with our children, ever. But given the state of the weather out there and the airport closures we probably made a good choice for travel. We don’t mind long drives and we don’t have to be in a hurry so we will get there when we get there. Our goal is around the 29th-30th. We are excited to see Traci and Brandon’s new home. After several months of close quarters they are enjoying their own place, especially a wood burning stove for these inclement days. Can’t wait to see our four kids and 5 grandkids! Want to see some videos of Canyon Paul? HERE.
Item four. I realize that most of you don’t hit the links I put in here that direct you to things I think are worth reading. Did you know I can tell what people read and don’t read on this site? However I want to point you to something very valuable I read this morning from the Seattle PI. The times are changing, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. It seems most people expect our new President to fix things, as quickly as possible, so as to get us back to the the way things were. Is it not possible and probable that the Father wants things in our world to be the way they are in order to get us to live in a Kingdom way. Most of the problems we face in this country were caused by us-we are greedy, selfish, and overly focused on acquisition and consumption at levels far beyond what is right, ethically or morally. We cannot continue to live as we have the last 25 years and expect any other result than the one we are experiencing right now. We need this wake up call to get back to what is important and what it really means to live with Kingdom values and lifestyle. The following link is not written by a follower of King Jesus, as far as I know, but what he writes is about Kingdom values and the need we all have to stop and realize who and what we have become. I encourage you to read it. Find it HERE.
Item five. Here are a few other links you might find valuable is you have the time. HERE on the Rick Warren prayer flap, HERE on church growth during hard times, HERE is one that says, under the old model you dated a few times and if you really liked the person you had sex, now the model is you hook up a few times and if you really like the person you might consider going on a date, and finally HERE, a post on why I miss the NW and fly fishing for steelhead and chums on the OP (Olympic Peninsula).
Item six. In my recent recapping of our Convergence School of Ministry Summit I have focused on Bob Mumford’s teaching. I suspect many of my readers who were not at the school have passed over reading these posts but I don’t want you to miss this. As we approach the day of celebrating the birth of our Savior and King I want to leave you with two things Bob said repeatedly while he was with us here. The two most expensive attributes of the Kingdom are unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness. There is nothing more Kingdom related, nothing more Biblically true, and nothing harder to do, yet more important than living out these two attributes. Living with no restrictions on how much and who we love and who we are willing to forgive were intended by our Father to change the world. Is there any doubt He is right?
Have a wonderful celebration of Jesus birthday. I appreciate your visits here to The View From the Juniper Tree. The fact that several hundred of you visit every week blesses me a lot. Thank you. See you down the road!
Cold this morning but the sun is shining. That does make a difference. As I have said repeatedly, the weather is very good here except for the wind.
Item one. Did you see T. Boone Pickins on 60 minutes last night. He loves the wind we have out here. Check this map out. (HERE) His ranch and wind farm is about an hour or so west of here. You can watch the 60 Minutes interview with T. Boone HERE. I like this guy and wish he was running for prez. He has actual plans and actually putting his money where his mouth is. What a novel idea. Maybe T. Boone could hook up with W. Buffett and fix things. His view of things HERE.
Item two. Only 8 more days till the election. Are you being bombarded with emails like I am with information about Obama? I just don’t know what to think. Is he a Muslim? Is he the Biblical anti-Christ? Are we on the door of the great tribulation? Is he the messiah? I know I won’t vote for him and there are a lot of questions but how does anyone actually know what is true and what is just made up? What role does God play in all of this? Does He place people in places of power or does He just let us have what we want? A fairly reasoned approach to this subject can be found over at Vanguard. I am not endorsing it, just find it interesting. Find it HERE.
Item three. Linda is in Washington now after a week with her family in Oregon. She seems to be having a good time and enjoyed a few days on the Oregon coast with her two sisters. I will join her Thursday evening for a long weekend. Really looking forward to being back “home”.
Item four. Could there be anymore of a difference between the football teams of my home state and the ones in my adopted state. Washington and Washington State are a combined 0-for the season and ranked near the very bottom of the Top 125 while Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have only one loss each and both to the #1 team in the country, Texas. Oklahoma is #4 and Oklahoma State is #9. Is it possible that two large state schools in the same state could be as miserable as UW and WSU? I watched a little of the UW/Notre Dame game and it was pathetic, not just horrible, embarrassing horrible. On the other hand I watched both OU and OSU and they are very, very good, both of them. It is fun to be in a state where the football is so good and Texas is on TV every week too. Texas Tech and Missouri aren’t to bad either. If you like college football, this is a very good year to spend some time in the heartland. Update: I forgot WSU did beat Portland State a junior varsity team. There is another team here in Oklahoma that is 7-0, the Univerity of Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Have a great week.
The great weather has gone away for a few days, replaced by 30 mph winds with gusts to 40+, and some rain too. I have gotten really spoiled by the weather here as it is has been so good most of the months we have been here. The wind is the part I struggle with the most because it blows the trailer around some. Oh well, good with bad. The better weather will be back this weekend.
Item one.Linda left from OKC Monday to spend some time with her family in Oregon and then up to Washington to be with the kids and grandkids. She is having a good time. We couldn’t remember the last time she spent time alone with her parents so this is a good thing for all of them. I miss having her here but will join her in Washington the end of the month.
Item two. We have been doing quite a bit of travelling the last few days. We drove up into the Oklahoma panhandle (Guyman) to bring an older 5th wheel back here for some friends. It was a 400+ round trip. Then Monday the 300 mile RT to Oklahoma City for some business and to the airport, than yesterday a 2 hour RT up to Canadian, Texas to a meeting. A little unusual to be out and about this much but always good to get on the road and see the country.
Item three. For those of you in Washington, did you ever expect to see the Seattle Times endorsing a Republican for Governor? I was so suprised to find this endorsement in the Times last week. Even a liberal paper like the Times can see that in these times of economic upheaval we can’t have a liberal running the state.
Item four. Why are young evangelicals supporting Barack Obama for prez? Apparently even the abortion issue is not enough to overcome the dissatisfaction with the status quo. Look here for survey.
Item five. We Christians are so often smug about the sins of others while ignoring our own. In spite of an almost universal belief in free grace we are not very free with it. This post is a must read. Find it HERE.
Item six. Here is a fun fall post from friend Rachel in Kansas. It has lots of pictures and shows just how nice it can be out here in the fall. Find it Here (especially like the finger pics!) Rachel’s sister, Kaylee has moved to Pennsylvania and posts a lot of pictures of her new life too. Find her HERE. Kaden Cronquist is 3, 3 weeks that is. Cool looking kid, right HERE. Son Brad has several new posts as well on a variety of subjects. Find him HERE. Good to see these young people doing so well and following Jesus.
Well, need to get on to other things. Have a great rest of the week.
I find myself lately doing what it seems I always do, during political seasons; trying to figure out how to vote for either of the two choices and wondering why it always comes down to who I dislike least. I spent some time with my pastor and others in the Trinity office today, talking politics and economics and recognizing that once again we are all pretty much voting against the other guy. I just get frustrated and find myself wanting to opt out. I know there are lots of us that identify with the feeling, but we are so afraid of what will happen if one of the guys win, we just resign ourselves to the lesser of two evils (they are probably both nice guys, maybe not even evil). No doubt for the believer the differences in these two are clear and I am at the place where, as a believer in Jesus, my decision seems to be made by these differences. Doesn’t mean I have to like the choices.
Greg Boyd is a maverick, no doubt about it. Out of step with almost everybody. Probably why I have liked him for years, liked his thinking so much at one point it cost me a friendship. A recent post on his blog caught my attention. What follows is an excerpt from it. No doubt, many of you will not like it, some just because Greg Boyd wrote it, but read it, then post a good comment against what he says, I had a hard time disagreeing much.
The tragic truth is that the church in America is profoundly broken. Instead of addressing our own massive shortcomings and sin, however, many leaders are trying to get us to focus on fixing Caesar! We aren’t doing what we’re called to do, in part because we’re so busy trying to get Caesar to do it! We’re ignoring the log in our own eye while trying to find a speck in Caesar’s! We’re doing very little of what Jesus called us to do and spending a lot of time doing things Jesus never told us to do. Instead of bleeding to transform the world through the self-sacrificial power of the cross, we’re trying to transform the world through the self-serving power of the sword. Instead of feasting at the banquet of God’s humble, servant love, we’re joining in the world’s scramble to scarf up a morsel of power that falls from Caesar’s table.
How we need to be freed from the illusion that we’re doing anything kingdom by voting a certain way every couple years! How we need to wake up to the truth that we vote for or against the Kingdom every day of our life. We vote by how we spend our money and time. We vote by where we live, who we hang out with, the kind of car we drive and the kind of clothes we wear. In the Kingdom, we vote with our lives, not in a booth expressing our opinion about what Caesar should do.
You can find the entire post right HERE.
Thanks to all who have commented on my post What lies beneath. They were articulate and helpful. I appreciate your concern, prayers and hope filled direction.
What you don’t get to read in the comments are the words Linda shares with me day after day, encouraging, hopeful, consistent, loving, rebuking, exhorting and caring. She doesn’t just read what I write, she lives with what I feel, fear and sees me struggle and goes on loving me, faithfully. For those of you who do not know our past, you do not know what she has lived through, including the loss of our son Paul Scott, disappointment in me, the rejection by a faith community she thought was different, leaving a home she loved and work she excelled in and was affirmed by, walking together with me through some very difficult days while consistently and honestly affirming that her God will not leave us or forsake us. That we continue to walk together and enjoy most of life together makes me a blessed man. She seldom grows weary in well doing… Since I do, it is good the Father put us together.
This blog has always been about the things I am thinking and feeling. I make no apologies for it. It is a blog, a journal, it is not intended to speak for anyone other than me. I am grateful that there are many who read it and learn from it. From time to time my angst does come out but I have discovered that even those posts speak in a helpful way to some of you, who also struggle with down times, doubts, disappointments and fear.
So today I offer this:
God is sovereign over all things, including nations, economies (stock markets, housing, inflation, etc.) and people like us. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours… You rule over all. (1Chronicles 28:11-12)
God’s sovereign oversight is never shaken and His purposes are never compromised. In other words, He does not worry when banks fail nor does He call emergency sessions in heaven when markets tumble. Remember this and stand firm…I am God and there is no other…My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all My purposes. (Isaiah.46:8-9,11)
Our sovereign God also has tender compassion for our current situation. He cares about the issues of everyday life that concern us. Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand so that at the proper time, He may exalt you, casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1Peter 5:6-7)
Frankly this sovereign, compassionate God is our only real source of hope. Join me in refusing the CNN-Fox-NBC-ABC-CBS-MSNBC-NY Times-Newsweek, etc, view that the promised solution for our ills rests in market adjustments, economic forecasts and different political leadership. That is a lie that produces anxious fear. Our God alone will see us through. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. (Psalm 20:7-8) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way… The Lord of hosts is with us. (Psalm 46:2,11)
Our lives never have been, nor will it they ever be, defined by our bank accounts, credit rating, mortgage status or retirement fund balance. We are so much more. Jesus said, ‘Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)
We must trust God for today, and only for today. Each day is a decision to rest in Him, just for this one day. Then tomorrow we get up and do it again. We must over and over again refuse to ask “what if?” questions. Following Jesus is nothing if not an everyday decision to trust our Father. It is about faith. (period) Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt. 6:34) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23)
Thanks for reading.
I have been searching for an easy to read and comprehend explanation for the financial meltdown we are experiencing in our country. If you are like me you find it hard to understand how things could get so bad, seemingly over night. The fact is it didn’t happen over night it just melted down over night.
After some serious searching for help in understanding what happened I found this on one of the blogs I frequent. It is a bit of a long read but really worth the time. I now understand what happened and understand why the bail out was so necessary. Will it work? Time is really the only thing that will tell. Find the astute article here.
This will no doubt be the last post from Grapeview. We are so appreciative of Bill and Leslee sharing their driveway with us for the last 2 months. The time has been full. So full that we have not really spent the kind of time we would have liked with friends in the area. Truck driving school took a month, Sage Olivia’s birth was the main focus for several days and just getting quality time with our children and grand children was a high priority. There has been little down time, which was not what we expected, but we have really had some good time with our family. Linda already has her tickets purchased for a return trip mid October. Not sure when I will return. I apologize to all of you who we didn’t get to see, but that does not lessen our love for you and our gratefulness for you being in our lives.
Item one. So we will pull out of here Thursday morning and frankly, at this point, I do not know what our route back to Oklahoma will be. We have several options and I guess will choose them as we go. Traci and family are going to Disneyland tomorrow for a week. I will drive them to the airport, Linda will go up and spend the day with Summer, Canyon and Sage. I will join them later in the day. Wednesday will be spent getting things ready to roll. It will be hard to leave our ever growing family here, but I am anticipating some great days with our family in OK.
Item two. While we were here we made an offer on a house that is in the process of foreclosure. While I feel sympathy for the folks who are losing this house and have major concerns, as we all do for the housing market, it is a great time to buy real estate. This house will be our “residence,” as in our physical address but will only be there a small part of the year, at least for the foreseeable future. Everything we can do is done, related to the property, we have the loan in place, renters ready to move in and we are just waiting for the bank that owns the property to get to our deal and agree to the terms we have offered. I am optimistic it will all come together and be a good investment for us, long term.
Item three. Brad has some great posts on his blog about his new daughter and other interesting writing. He hasn’t posted in a long time but with time home caring for Summer and his little family he has posted some good stuff including this one featuring a poem by my Dad and this one on the prez election. Check it out.
Item four. It seems I learn more slowly as I get older but the things I am learning seem to be more important. The things I used to learn seemed to be more about having something to give to others, now they are more about just living life so as to please the Father. Here are a couple of simple things I seem to be called to learn these days: I can not provide for others, (no matter how much I love the “others”) that which God alone can provide. Happiness, wholeness, completeness, contentment are all things I long to give to those around me but I can’t. Another thing I am learning is that forgiveness may be the most important of all actions we are responsible for in life. Contentment, wholeness, happiness, completeness, not to mention freedom, hope, security, peace all seem to flow out of a commitment to forgive at all levels of relationships. Simple but important stuff.
Item five. Ever wonder if God really does forgive the junk you have done in the past? Prodigal John has a good word on this subject. Read it here. If you are a fan of Washington Husky football, Saturday night in Eugene had to be really painful. Good analysis of what happened can be found here. For the view from Duckville look here. Here is one that might make you think about why we are so fascinated by events like Hurricane Gustav. Find it here. A young friend and reader has a neat quote on her blog that caught my attention: People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but…they will never forget how you made them feel.
I will leave you with that thought and will see you down the road.