Posts filed under ‘RV’

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.84

Sayre, Oklahoma

I enjoy writing the meanderings each week because I get to see, right in front of me, what we have been up to.  It has also been a good way to fill our family and friends in on what we have been doing too.  So here is the 84th installment.

Item one.  It was a great first week back in Western Oklahoma and full of things one could only do here.  Got to go armadillo hunting for the first time (probably only time) which was an adventure.  These little creatures are not good for flower beds, nice grass or any other plant you like to look at.  They just rip it all up to get at the roots.  So they have to be removed and since I was right here on the “ranch” and I had a shotgun, I got the call.  One more task to add to my growing resume.

Item two.  Went with friend Yandy Yarbrough to put up a deer feeder which I wrote about already on the Juniper Tree.  Yandy works a regular job, is a life time cowboy, both working and rodeo, but what he really loves is hunting.  Riding with him in his truck is adventure because he never misses any animal that might be out there, no matter how much light there is.  One of the blessings of our life is the young families we get to enjoy relationship with here in Oklahoma.  It is so fun to be part of their lives and have a part in encouraging their relationship with the Father.

Item three.  We are beginning to settle in here, even though our regular spot is under construction.  We are having a cement pad poured to provide stability and a mud free place to park.  So we are parked nearby but without all our hookups.  It is just fine but we are looking forward to our “new” place.  Having these beautiful 100 acres as our Oklahoma home is really a blessing.

Item four.  Plans for Summit2 are well underway.  November 12-22 are the dates if you want in.  email me if you want information.  We are responsible for most of the administrative details of this conference and I do some teaching as well.  Here are a few summations of  summit1 speakers, I wrote after lasts years event: HERE and HERE.

Item five.  Jake the dog just barked me up to see a calf hanging out in front of the trailer.  Apparently an escapee from one of the pens here on the “ranch”.  We went out to try and herd him into one of the stalls in the barn but were unsuccessful.  Just another experience I rarely had in my past life.

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I leave you with these words from my good friend Steve Grace: I would rather be a poor man serving Jesus than a rich man serving my own means. I would rather be weary fighting the good fight than well rested in my own irrelevant accomplishments. I would rather die for the cause of Christ than live for myself.  (Steve Grace)

September 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.83

Sayre, Oklahoma

A young friend on Facebook, in a status update, made this comment: “I hate all blogs, all of them.”  So, if you don’t hate blogs continue reading the first meanderings in several weeks.

A lot has happened and nothing has happened.  After an eventful trip from Western Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest we hung out with your adult children and our grandchildren.  Went to the beach, the zoo, Northwest Trek, Seattle, camped with everyone for a week, visited a few friends, preached a couple of times, went to church with Brad and Summer and the time went by.  All the grandkids are growing and changing and doing well.  Summer is growing and changing with granddaughter #2 and grandkid #6 and she is doing well too.  While there are challenges in each of their lives they seem to be handling them well and living life with hope and confidence.  I am very proud of our children and theirs. Most of our time was spent enjoying and caring for our family.

Item one. The trip back to Oklahoma took us through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and back into Oklahoma.  We made stops outside Missoula, Montana at a favorite stopping spot for a couple of days.  We drove through the northwest gate into Yellowstone Park (up on of the steepest, windiest and narrowest roads we have travelled) and into Cody, Wyoming where we stayed on the grounds of the Cody Night Rodeo with our friend Dan.  Dan is from Sayre but was spending the summer announcing the rodeo in Cody.  He was our tour guide to the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, one of the great museums in the west, in my opinion and around the beautiful Cody area.  He has become a Cody expert and it was fun to spend some time with him.

After Cody we drove up the Shell Canyon route to the top of the Big Horn mountains where we met my brother Mike and sister in law Vicky, for 5 days of camping and fishing in the most beautiful country anywhere.  We lived on the west side of the Big Horns when Mike and I were very young and then Linda and I and our family lived on the east side 20 years ago.  The Big Horns and the North Fork of the Tongue River are very special to all of us.  It was such a wonderful time and we really didn’t want to leave.  I would love to move back there again some day.  Just need a job!

The fishing was outstanding.  The North Fork is a meandering stream, through tall willows and so every corner is a new adventure. 20 years ago part of it was designated catch and release, barbless flies and lures only and it has turned that little stream into a monster cutthroat fishery.  We caught so many fish over 18 inches that the little ones (under 16 inches) were almost boring.  I caught 3-4 that were in the 22+ inch category, which in that river is a huge fish.  Probably weighed 3-4 pounds.  And, yes I did get a license!

There are moose every where up there as well and the four of us went “moose hunting” each evening.  Linda has some great pictures she will post somewhere I imagine.

It was a very peaceful and soul renewing time for all of us.  I remembered again why fly-fishing has been so important to my mental and soul health, over the years.  Life has been quite uncertain, in a lot of ways, the last 4 years but one constant in our lives has been the opportunity to travel and see places that have real meaning in our history and refresh our lives.

Item two.  What the future looks like here in Sayre begins to play out this morning.  Linda will go to work on some administrative details that have piled up related to the ministries we serve.  I will get some things rolling for Convergence and Summit2 and we will both begin getting back into the relationships that mean so much to us.  Things have changed here in many ways since we have been gone.  I am not sure what it all means or how it all works out but we have a Father who does and loves to see us happy and fulfilled so we will enjoy that blessing.

Seasons change and so do we.  That is the Father’s intention.  He loves to love us and He loves to have us dependent on Him and Him alone.  That is the hard one for most of us.  We have our agenda’s and our need to be in control but life works best when we are desperate for Him to lead us through each day.  That is where I am this morning.

Blessings on all of you who read this.  You can follow us on facebook (www.facebook.com/gregory.scandrett)  and there will be some regular additions to the juniper tree as we move along.

September 14, 2009 at 9:38 am 5 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.82

Shelton, Washington

Here is the weekly update of our life on the road between “homes”.

Item one.  Travelling between Western Washington, Western Oklahoma and Arizona is becoming pretty “normal”.  We have logged nearly 50K miles over the last 3 years but some of those miles are just the here and there of “living” somewhere for a couple of months at a time.  This is at least our 8th trip back to Washington since we sold the house and started living on the road.  It is good to be back in Washington but it never quite feels “right”.

Item two.  Part of this nomadic life means you really don’t completely “fit” anywhere.  There are no roots and no real permanence.  That is the trade off.  If you live in a house and work in a community you collect stuff and take care of stuff and turn in a circle of relationships at work and whatever else you do to connect with people.  When you “live” in a variety of locations you don’t sink down in, because you know you are moving on and so every stop is temporary.

The relationships we have are as good as any we have ever had but they are such that you never quite “fit” because life is so different for us.  We don’t have regular jobs and we don’t have lawns to mow, houses to take care of or regular meetings or gatherings to attend especially when we are not in Sayre.  Sometimes I really want that “normal” again but that isn’t possible here in Mason County and if we settle into that normal in Western Oklahoma we miss out on life with our family here in Washington.  It is always a dilemma without a good solution, so we keep on doing what we do.

Item three.  Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington.  The most direct route to Washington from Oklahoma passes through all of those states and covers a little more than 2000 miles.  We stopped in Colorado Springs overnight to have dinner with my dad and see his new apartment.  He has a $3000.00 view for $300.00 in a senior housing place.  Really great.

I parked the trailer at my brothers business and it was the biggest trailer mess ever, by far.  I got into one of those jams people who pull trailers avoid at all costs but because of the “perfect storm” of situations I got to the place where I could not back up or pull forward without damaging the trailer, the pickup or both.  It was a lose/lose situation.  Wish I had pictures so you could see what I stepped in.  It was totally bad judgement on my part but there were so many factors going on it was easy to make a bad decision.  After much effort in a rain storm, angels lifted the trailer a couple of inches and we made it out with some small scrapes.  I still have nightmares about it.

We went from The Springs to Charlie and Lorissa Kingsbury’s family ranch outside Greeley, Colorado where we spent the fourthof July weekend with Charlies family.  We were treated like family (which we are) and had such a great time.  Wonderful meals, the Greeley Stampede (87th annual), fireworks at the country club (never been to one of those) prayer with Charlies car dealership partners over their businesses, church (the most patriotic Sunday ever!) and many more fun activities that left us gasping for breath.  Great fun with great people.

We left Greeley about noon and drove into Wyoming and on to a rest area 60 miles east of Bozeman, Montana where we spent a short night and then on the next morning to Missoula where we loaded up on groceries and headed to our destination along Lolo Pass and the Lochsa River.  We have stayed in this National Forest Campground many times over the years and always enjoy it there.  I caught a lot of fish including 10-12 of the biggest cutthroat trout ever on that river (16-20 inches)  Great fun.

Did something dumb there too.  Because the nearest place to buy a fishing licence is about 50 miles one way, down the winding highway, I decided for the first time ever in my life, and I fish a lot in a lot of different states, to see how the fishing was before I made the trip to get the license (there was road construction too).  I have fished dozens of different rivers in at least 5 states over the years, always bought a license and never, ever been checked, ever!  You guessed it.  10 minutes into my decision to check the fishing before buying the license, along comes the LAW and checks me for a license! I felt so stupid and there is nothing you can say, no explanation wanted and none he hasn’t heard before.  The saga is still not concluded because it looks like I will have to drive back over there to appear in court.  I am trying to work something out but they are pretty tough on poachers!  “You just have to believe me, Sir, I have never done this before, honest, really, I never have…”  Sure.

We left Wilderness Gateway Friday morning and drove the 500 plus miles to Shelton arriving in time for #1 grandson Sloan’s 5th birthday.  We drove to Gig Harbor to pick up Brad’s two children, Canyon Paul and Sage and brought them to Shelton for Sloan’s party as dad was doing a wedding and mom wanted to go along without two small children.  It was a long day but a log of fun.

Well, that gets us to today and the start of 7 weeks or so in Washington before we head out on another adventure in living “nowhere”.

Not sure what we will do with all of this time here but will let you know.

July 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm 6 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.80

Norman, Oklahoma

We have the trailer parked in a new section of the Lake Thunderbird Lake State Park just south and a little east of Norman Oklahoma.  Norman, of course is the home of the University of Oklahoma, or OU for short, the school I pull for out here in Big 12 country. If it is OU why is it not called Oklahoma University?  We have some more work on the truck tomorrow in OK City so this was a good place to come from Duncan.

Item one.  We left Sayre Friday and headed south to Duncan, Oklahoma for the Oklahoma state high school finals (rodeo).  This event is the culmination of a year long effort to be a state champion in one of many events in high school girls and boys rodeo.  We had a great time going to the final two performances of a week long event, hanging with Charlie and Lorissa and the kids and with Jason and June and their family.  Their son Lane finished up his year as state champ in the bull riding event.  He will ride in the National Finals rodeo in Farmington, NM later in the month.

It is amazing to me that at these high school/junior high rodeos they begin the event with prayer.  True for all rodeo events as far as I can tell.  But not only do they have prayer to start off they almost all have a church service if the event goes over a Sunday, as most of them do.  Can you imagine starting basketball games in Washington with prayer and weekend tournaments hosting a church service?

Jason and June were responsible for the church service and invited Charlie and another friend, world champion bull rider, Matt Austin to be the speakers.  Jason was leading worship and invited me to play with the band (they were short handed).  It was a lot of fun and the guys did a great job of speaking Kingdom into these young people and their families.  Matt and Charlie are both Convergence students and great friends.

Item two. We have been busy lately with a number of interesting opportunities.  We hosted a group from Fellowship of Christian Cowboys at Trinity a couple of weeks ago and have also been spending some time helping them with some administrative duties.  They are one of the many  national Christian organizations that are in transition and so we are helping them to refocus and to think more long term.  Lots of organizations tend to have some real growth and influence but after a few years discover they are not longer making much of an impact doing things the way they used to do them.  It has been a challenge to find the right hooks back into viability but it is coming. 

Item three.  We started teaching a new Convergence class this past week called “Pursuing a Kingdom marriage and family”.  We had the biggest group we have ever had for a Wednesday evening class.  My thesis is that like so many other things that are called Christian, marriage has taken on more of a cultural influence than it has a Kingdom one.  The high point in a Christian marriage is usually the wedding and from then on “Christian” marriage looks about like any other marriage.  Divorce rates seem to bear this thesis out.  We need to help our young people see what marriage was intended to be prior to marriage and to guide those already married away from the cultural way of doing the marriage relationship and into a Kingdom one.

For the first session I worked hard to raise our awareness of the high value of marriage as a picture of how much our Father loves us and desires intimacy with us.  Marriage and the sexual union in marriage is designed by the Father to be a picture of His love for us and the potential of intimacy with Him.  The highlight of the class had to be a discussion of how sexual intimacy in marriage is a graphic illustration of how the Bride is to come into an intimate relationship with the Bridegroom, through worship.  If you want to listen to the audio of the teaching you can find it HERE.

Hope to get the next post on 24 up this week.  We are ready to focus our attention on the second of 3 questions the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24.

Have a great week.

June 15, 2009 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.76

Sayre, Oklahoma

After more than two months away we are back in our spot on the beautiful 100 acres that comprise Trinity Fellowship.  We arrived back yesterday in time for the second service yesterday,  and the opportunity to hear our friend and spiritual son Charlie, share some thoughts on staying fit spiritually, from the inside out.  It was a good word and really fun to see how this young man has grown.  He has such a good grasp on the importance of relationships in the Family and the value of hearing the Father.  Wish you could all know Charlie, Lorissa and their family, they are such a great example of how the Family is producing sons and daughters who get the Kingdom and are living out Kingdom values.  (Don’t have time for a pic, wish I did)

Item one.  We spent some really great time in Williams, Arizona with another Kingdom family.  Brooks and Melissa are ranchers in the dry high desert country.  Brooks rides herd over about 100 square miles of land where he cares for as many as 1000 head of cattle.  That is a lot of country.  I went with Brooks to help a neighbor with branding and moving some calves, while Linda helped Melissa with the homeschooling of their two oldest.  Along the way we shared our relationship with the Father and shared some pain and some joy. We are so blessed to have spiritual sons and daughters to go alond with our natural (they are spiritual, too) sons and daughters.  I don’t have any fear for the future of the Kingdom (of course we have a great King) because it is populated with some young people who are living it out.  There are so many more I could write about and probably will, but these two couples are fresh on my mind today.

Item two.  We were about half way between Flagstaff and Winslow, Arizona when I-40 was closed down in both directions because of blowing sand.  We have experienced road closures because of snow, ice, flooding, downed trees, among other things, but never for blowing sand.  We sat on the freeway, with a few thousand other people, for over 4 hours before we were able to head on towards Albuquerque where we spent the night.  I really wanted to stop in Winslow where I hear there really is “a girl my Lord in a flat bed Ford…”  Didn’t get to this trip.  (extra points if you understand that last line)

Item three.  I intend to do a post just on points made by Bill Johnson in a message we listened to on Resurrection Sunday.  We had our own service with Chuck and Nancy and it was really powerful, great worship, good friends, an encounter with the Word that has stayed with me for days and excellent food.  Even watched the end of the Masters.  hard to beat a day like that.  There are not many messages these days that still have your attention days or weeks later but this was one of them.  He was talking about the fear of God and how the church has watered down the meaning of the word so as to try and make a relationship with the Creator more user friendly.  Bill said, and I agree, that fear really does mean fear, but he went on to say there are two kinds of fear in the Scriptures; fear that messes you up so you run from God and fear that brings us near to God, low and surrendered.  Not to many Christians in that posture these days.  More on that later.

Item four.  We are officially out of the trucking biz.  After several months of really good income followed by several more of limited income and then more of none, we had someone approach us about buying our truck and it seems like a good deal for us.  The oil industry has tanked out here so the work we had is just not there anymore and we are not interested in trying to find other kinds of loads so we decided to call it a career.  Many lessons learned and there are still some unanswered questions, but that isn’t all bad.  Questions always force trust in places we haven’t trusted before and of course that is what builds stronger faith.  Perhaps there still be some use for my CDL.

Item five.  There are all kinds of projects to work on now that we are back in Sayre.  While we were away a high speed fibre optic line was put in place which will now allow us to get our classes and services on line in real time and to archive other video for use by our students and others.  This is really exciting for me but it is also pretty new to me so I will be flying by the seat of my pants as we put it together.  Convergence Summit 2 is not that far away and there is much to do, like securing speakers and publicity and all that goes with putting a program together for 100+ people.  We are also talking about a 3 month Convergence program for 10-15 students who want to live, learn and serve in the western culture.  There is also teaching to do plus our work with Forever Cowboys, Fellowship of Christian Cowboys and the Pro Bull Riding Outreach.  We have varied responsibilities and opportunities with these groups but we have a high level of interest in their success in reaching their Kingdom vision. 

So, lots to do.  Still hope to keep the Juniper Tree growing too, so stick around, I appreciate you.  Have an anointed week!

April 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm 2 comments

A few thoughts on 01.02.09

Sunny! Shelton, Washington

We did a New Year celebration as well as the 2008 Christmas celebration, all in one really fun, blessed day.  All 11 of us eating, watching football, eating, playing, eating, watching USC totally destroy some Big 10 football team (does the Big 10 ever win a bowl game), eating, opening presents (we really cut back on gifting this year and it made it more fun) did I mention eating.  Four boys 4 and under and one beautiful girl, along with 6 adults in a new house, on the first day of the year.  Doesn’t get a lot better for me.

What am I resoluting about this year?  I have to do something about eating.  I am too old to eat like I do but I don’t really want to change and it gets harder all the time to find the “want to”.  I do pretty well for a while and then just fall off the wagon.  It has to stop!  Sounds strangely like an addiction.  Shhh…

I must get back to reading significant books.  My brother in law Bob, gave me a book for Christmas (Soul Survivor-Yancy), and I am reading it and it just makes me more resolute to read often and widely like I did for the past 50 years.  The culture we are around these days, doesn’t make reading a priority so I just fall into that pattern and I don’t like it.  I asked for book reading ideas last year and got a few good ones.  Will start there.  Any more?

Changing eating patterns is enhanced by exercise, something else I am not that into any more.  I used to run many miles a week (ran 6, 26.2 mile marathons in my past life), played racquetball regularly, walked, but just can’t seem to find the right thing for my bod.  Gotta do it though, or I am doomed to be fat, slow and totally out of shape when I get to the big 60.

The new year holds some exciting opportunities for new ministry and continuing to build on what we began last year.  The RV lifestyle is still working for us and we hope to continue it while keeping some important ministry focuses on the front burner.  We love Western Oklahoma but love some other places too. 

2009 is going to continue the trend begun in 2008-CHANGE.  Hebrews tells us that everything that can be shaken, will be.  Don’t think it was necessarily referring to 2009 but it is a reference to reality.  Things get shaken, thrown around and mixed up.  If what we want in life is for things to remain the same, it doesn’t happen.  Apparently shaking things up is a good thing.  We get really set in our ways, comfortable, secure, and frankly soft and I don’t think that is the best way for followers of Jesus to live, so the Father shakes things up.  We are totally in a shaking period.  I don’t think it is the final shaking but it is going to be pretty wild for a while.  But that Hebrew scripture promises that we have been given a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.  Seems like a good thing to be resolute about Kingdom advancement during times of shaking.  Our focus cannot be on the shaking but on the Kingdom.  When we seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness we can deal with the shaking around us and in fact, advance. 

The times are changing, for sure.  And I for one, think that is a good thing, even though I don’t always like it.  Doing the same thing over and over is not only a habit, it is a rut.  Jesus people are not destined for ruts we are destined for Glory.  His Glory.  Jesus told His followers and in turn us-Don’t be afraid kids, for your Papa enjoys giving you a Kingdom. (my translation)

Welcome to an unshakable Kingdom-2009, where there is no reason to be afraid because we serve a great King and have a Father who wants the Kingdom He enjoys in heaven to become the reality of earth.  Your Kingdom come on earth just like it is in heaven.  Cool!

January 2, 2009 at 11:54 pm 3 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.56

Grapeview, Washington

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.

September 1, 2008 at 11:20 pm 1 comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.54

Grapeview, Washington

Monday morning and nothing much “exciting” to meander through.  Trucking school is over, the new baby is not here yet and there isn’t a whole lot else new in the picture.  So maybe I will pick on politics or religion or both.

Item one.  Is it too late for a do-over in the political primaries that gave us the Obama/McCain choice?  I suppose it is.  Don’t care for either and I really don’t like the premise that says, “vote for the person who will appoint “conservative” judges.  Some say there is a real choice in this election but the choice to me seems to be between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Barna says “evangelicals” are choosing Obama by a large margin and that is certainly a change.  The race issue, though seldom mentioned is an issue that is real and it is really sad that it is.  Neither of these guys can do much about energy problemsand the resultant economic stuff that falls out of the high cost of energy.  We are so blase in this country about energy that we are happy if the cost of fuel drops a quarter, even though it is up 2 dollars since this time last year.  The almost total lack of anything constructive coming from either side of the political spectrum towards solving the major problems we face as a nation and world would be humorous if it wasn’t so scarey.  Having Nancy Pelosi and Obama running the country doesn’t sound like fun but frankly McCain and Mitt Romney is not a great alternative.  If I had to vote today, I’m not sure I would.  Here are a three different viewpoints that are interesting, sort of.  Here and here and here.  Who are you choosing?

Item two.  Here are a few blogs I read with some interesting posts: Eugene Cho posts an interesting article from CNN with this title “Why many Americans prefer their Sunday’s segregated.”  You can find Eugene’s blog hereThis one here from the Imonk has a pretty good bite.  The title? “The suburban Jesus hates me”.  And this one here from one of my favorite blogs, Stuff Christians like, on a Christian Tattoo contest.  This one from the NY Times is good but few are bothering to listen.  This from a young man who grieves authentically.  Find it here.  And my friend Sumi blogs with such sensitivity on the same subject, here.  And this one on how men feel about getting old, or is it older?  Here.

Item three.  Well, here it is Tuesday and I am just getting back to the meanderings.  Obviously, it wasn’t too pressing.  I have gotten pretty lazy with this blog lately and I know for those of you who sit by your computers waiting for these posts to come through, this has caused you some serious withdrawal issues.  Sure.  We went to see Brad, Summer and Canyon Paulfor the afternoon and evening and that was good fun.  CP is a lot of fun as he is very verbal and full of life.  Summer is really ready to have the new baby and not moving too fast or doing too much.  I think it could be anytime.

Good friend Tyler and wife Christine just had their first, yesterday and what a baby he is.  Joshua weighed in at 10 lbs 6 oz!  That is a big baby.  Congrats to them and to Grandma Barb!

My Dad is coming for a visit, next week and that will be fun.  It has been a long time since he came to see us and he will enjoy seeing the four boys and maybe the new one will show while he is here.  I think Linda’s parents are coming for a day soon too.

Our friends Rand and Kaylee are moving with their boys from Phoenix, AZ to Phoenixville, PA.  Rand will be part of the leadership of a church there.  What a big move for them.  They have so faithfully waited for their Father to open just the right door for them and this is it!  Read Kaylee’s blog here.

Item four.  There is a disease in the full time RV world called “hitch itch”.  It comes when you have been one place for a while and want to move along.  We are starting to get it, not so much because this isn’t a great place and we are really enjoying the kids and Bill and Leslee but when you live in an RV moving along is what you do and besides it is time to get back to the other home in Oklahoma.  Really miss Andy, Julie, Daryle, Carrie, Buddy, Lennie, Debby, Cody, Stacey (and all the kids), Charlie, Lorrisa (all their kids too), Eric, Jenny and the girls, Jack, Sharisa, Harley and the list goes on.  What friends they all are to us.  Don’t really miss Oklahoma, though it is steadily growing on me, but there are no greater (some equally great out here) people than Okies!

That’s enough.  There will be more posts this week, for sure, well maybe…

August 12, 2008 at 11:29 pm 1 comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.52

Grapeview, WA

Sitting here in the trailer doing some schedule work for Convergence, our ministry school in Oklahoma, working on a message for Sunday morning and listening to Willie’s Place on XM radio (satellite radio).  This is mostly honky tonk music featuring Willie, Hank, Merle, Ray, George and others.  Kind of makes me homesick for our other home in Oklahoma. 

Item one.  Canyon Paul’s #2 birthday was yesterday and Brad and Summer had a party for him on Saturday.  It was fun to watch him and all his little friends, including his 3 cousins interact (actually 6 cousins but I refer to the ones related to me). There were lots of young couples with young children many of whom we have known since they were little.  Hard to believe CP is already 2.  Sure glad we are here to help celebrate.

Item two. The great focus of my current life, truck driving school is coming to close and none too soon.  I am pretty tired of the schedule and the intensity of it all.  I think I am getting it, finally.  I have struggled to pick up the shifting and down shifting using rpm’s and speed.  I think I almost have the hang of it but this week will tell.  Drove over 100 miles on the freeway Friday and that was fun.  Going 60 mph down a very busy freeway in an 18 wheeler was a little surreal.  All the pre-trip, driving and skill tests are this week, both for the school and the DOL.  I really don’t care about the school certificate, though someday I might need to drive for a big company that requires it, but I do want the Class A CDL.  My test with the DOL is Friday at 2:30, so if you think about it, pray. 

While this has been a lot more than I bargained for, it had been good for me, no matter what happens.  I know a lot of things I didn’t know before, have a greater respect for truck drivers and will be better able to help run our little trucking company.  Hard to believe we are in the trucking business, but we are, and it is producing a really nice income, without having to do too much.  It really is the favor of our Father on us.  I plan to finish the course, do the best I can on the tests and leave the rest in the hands of my Papa.  Thanks for your prayers.

Item three.  Some of you must remember the bumper stickers and bracelets that many Christians were displaying a few years back with these words:  What would Jesus do or said acronimically (is that a word?) WWJD.  Never wore it myself but the concept has merit.  I saw a really funny bumper sticker as I was flying down the highway in my 18 wheeled chariot that was a take off on the What would Jesus do.  It said “What would Scooby do?”  I laughed out loud and my instructor woke up and asked me what was so funny.  There was just no way to tell him.  What would Scooby do?

Item four.  This is funny too.  One of my top five favorite blogs is Stuff Christians Like and recently it asked the question “Jessica Simpson, Should we take her back?”  Read it, it really is funny, in a weird christian sort of way, which is what this blog is about-weird stuff Christians do.  Find it here.

Item five.  Item five comes via the Internetmonk and worth your time to read.  I get so weary of the whole theological debate that really proves nothing except providing a way to not like other Family members.  Do we feel better about ourselves when we hold a position so strongly that we will not worship with those who don’t or will not let our young adults gather with those who do not share our particular theological bent?  I just don’t get it anymore.  While I am not in tune with this writer’s theology, he gets it when it comes to the importance of Family over theology.  Read it here.

Item six. Enjoyed another opportunity to preach today and again was able to see old friends who showed up to say hello.  The audience was responsive, we laughed some, worshiped some and learned some things about the Father’s love for us.  Good times.

Have a great week and thanks for reading the Juniper Tree.  I have a really nice readership that seems to like checking back regularly.  In another week I plan to get back to more writing.

July 28, 2008 at 6:22 am 3 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.50!

Grapeview, Washington

It doesn’t seem possible, but this is the 50th edition of the meanderings.  I find it hard to do something five times in a row without getting bored or distracted, so it is amazing that I have done this 50 times.  Missed a few times so it has been more than a year since the first one. This past week I also crossed the 75K mark in page views on the blog so that was fun to see happen. 

I write the View so friends and family that want to keep up with us have a way to check in once a week or so and see where we are and what we are doing.  What is weird is having a significant number of people who I don’t know who read it.  They must not have a lot to do.

With all the effort expended in school I just haven’t felt like writing anything for the Juniper View.  I guess the real re-start from the sabattical will have to wait till August.

Item one. I finished my first week of truck driving school and passed the classroom portion.  Between the three tests, the state requires to get a CDL, and the 11 tests the school puts you through, I took 14 tests between last Saturday and yesterday (Friday).  I took and passed all the state ones because you have to have them done before you can do the pre-trip inspection test, the backing test and the road test, which I will do in 3 weeks. Just wanted to get them out of the way.

I had no idea it would be this intense to get a CDL.  I leave the house at 4:30 in time to be in Tacoma by 5:45 am to start class.  Basically you are listening, answering questions, filling out log books, taking tests for 8.25 hours and then I drive another hour plus back here.  I am not used to that kind of a schedule and by the time dinner is over I am really tired.  For the first few days of the class I had the best score but after the final I fell back a few spots but I passed and now I am ready to get in the truck for the next 3 weeks.  It is really good for my mind to do this and actually it it fun, all but the drive back and forth.  Thanks to Doug and Jeanee I have a little car to drive that costs a whole lot less to drive than our big diesel pick-up.

Item two.  Everyone is having a great time staying here at Mason Lake.  Linda is able to spend time with Lesleeand Bill and as an added bonus gets to spend time with Traci and the 3 grandboys.  Brandon is off to work early so she is able to be a big help to Traci and really enjoys the boys.  We hope to see Brad, Summer and Canyon pretty often too.  We had a great time with them over the long 4th weekend.  Pray that their house in Utah sells soon.

Item three.  The Henri Nouwen devo the last few days has been on woundedness and it has been excellent.  Thought I would include the last 3 days for your encouragement and exhortation:

Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.

Our own experience with loneliness, depression, and fear can become a gift for others, especially when we have received good care. As long as our wounds are open and bleeding, we scare others away. But after someone has carefully tended to our wounds, they no longer frighten us or others.

When we experience the healing presence of another person, we can discover our own gifts of healing. Then our wounds allow us to enter into a deep solidarity with our wounded brothers and sisters.

To enter into solidarity with a suffering person does not mean that we have to talk with that person about our own suffering. Speaking about our own pain is seldom helpful for someone who is in pain. A wounded healer is someone who can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about his or her own wounds. When we have lived through a painful depression, we can listen with great attentiveness and love to a depressed friend without mentioning our experience. Mostly it is better not to direct a suffering person’s attention to ourselves. We have to trust that our own bandaged wounds will allow us to listen to others with our whole beings. That is healing.

I am thankful everyday for the friends and family in Washington, Oklahoma and Arizona who have brought so much healing into our lives this last year.  I hope and pray that I can be a wounded healer for others the way you have been for us.

Item four.  For those of you here in Mason County, my friend Pastor Mark Sartori has invited me to speak at his church July 13 and 20.  I am really looking forward to sharing whatever it is the Spirit has for us.  If you are interested in coming, the service at Mt. View Alliance begins at 10:30. The phone number there is 360.426.3294.

 

July 14, 2008 at 7:04 am 3 comments

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