This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Emily Hearts New York

Below:  Before barrette
Above:  After barrette

Last summer when Lyn, Kristi, and I were in New York, we bought an "I heart NY" tee-shirt for Emily.  (Of course, she was still romping around inside her mommy at that time.) 
A couple of weeks ago Jennifer and Brian came over before Saturday activities at the church--Emily was wearing "the shirt."  So Grandpa got a little carried away taking video shots of the little love bug.  Of course, you'll want to watch the whole 2-minute + video!  (I especially love the "happy feet" segment...wish I'd focused more on them. Emily's feet are ALWAYS moving. I'm convinced she'll win SYTYCD in 2028--I'll watch that year!)

BTW, the countdown to Disney World is now TWO days!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Groundbreaking - At Last!

THE NEXT WAVE - Crashing In!

Well, we might have been 13 months overdue, but today was the official groundbreaking ceremony for our campus redevelopment program, THE NEXT WAVE.  Following our 10:30 service (around 11:45) all those who chose to stick around met first in the auditorium. Bruce introduced some of the "major players" in the whole operation--the most significant of whom were the "8th and Orange Crowd" as he called them.  These are the men and women who were part of FCC when it met at its first building on 8th and Orange.  (Nobody is still around from THAT groundbreaking--1908!)  These folks have been a vital part of FCC in all the years since--including the buildings that were dedicated to the Kingdom in 1956 and 1983 on our current campus.

While we were gathering for the ceremony to begin, I snapped the picture below of Kristi, Jennifer, Lexi, and Emily.  I couldn't help thinking back to when we first became part of FCC in February of 1990.  So MANY changes . . . not the least of which are the "girls" themselves. Kristi was in the 9th grade and Jennifer was in the 5th. Lexi and Emily, of course, weren't even in anyone's dreams at that point.  They will get to be part of the very first generation of FCC children to enjoy the incredible facilities that were officially initiated at noon today.

Jennifer with Emily, Kristi with Lexi
(and Emily LOVING the camera!)
Then we moved outside for the photo shoot.  It was neat to see the large crowd that was gathering around the construction fence, trying to catch a glimpse of the site.  I was just taking some random shots of the crowd.  I didn't notice until after I loaded the pics into my computer that the woman in the center (with the red top and black slacks) was the daughter-in-law of Tommy Overton, the beloved pastor who led the congregation from 8th and Orange to Main Street back in the 50s.  I can't help wondering what was going through her mind today.

The Crowd, looking on
(Janet Overton, down center--
red top/black slacks)

Lyn signing her name on the "Prayer Wall," a
large banner that will be archived for the future.

The "8th and Orange Crowd"
(The man in the center--wearing the tie--
has been a member of FCC since 1931!)

Architects, Contractor, and Church Representatives
(Norm Dyson--3rd from the right--has been an unstoppable
force in the project.  Without him, the grounbreaking
might have been delayed until NEXT summer!)

Most of our staff.
Several years back we took a staff
 picture--there were SEVEN of us back then!

Part of Bruce's prayer at the ceremony

Friday, June 27, 2008

Three Drop-In Visits in One Night!!!

Lyn and I took my "Lost Art of Visiting" post seriously Wednesday night. We hit three of our neighbors' homes BOOM  BOOM BOOM.  (And visited with a 4th at her garage.)

Well, they weren't REALLY "visits" in my narrowly defined sense of the word. We didn't just go to chew the fat.  They'd all recently had their kitchens re-done.  We're considering doing it here, so thought we'd barge in and ask if we could look.  So, in a way, it was more invasive than a mere drop-in visit.  We invited ourselves in to see their kitchens of all things!  And not much beyond the average dinner hour (it was about 6:45 when we started our rounds).  I was so proud of us!  :)   [AND, the neighbors were thrilled to show us their kitchens!]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

July's Surprise

Based upon my experience this week trying to set up and utilize my new Bluetooth headset, I am hereby making the following prediction:

When California's new "handsfree" cellphone law goes into effect July 1 (presumably for our protection), there will be more accidents caused by people trying to use their stupid wired and wireless headpieces than would have been caused by talking on their cellphones directly!!!  

DRIVE DEFENSIVELY the first couple weeks of the month!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Amazing Way God Works Through People . . .

Lyn emailed a lengthy video link the other day.  I just got around to watching it today.  It's an amazing story.  Since the video she sent was over 13 minutes long, I found a shorter version of it which I'm embedding here.  If you want to see the full version, click here.)

Anyway, the video speaks for itself.  I hope you'll spend the 4 minutes it takes to watch this version.

Crumbs and Boogers . . .

Okay, I know some of you hate my goatee.  However, some of you have actually said you like it. (Thank you.) Regardless of public opinion, I'm having fun growing it for the time being.  I'm not married to it, so it's not a life commitment or anything.  It's just good to do something different.  Since we can't rearrange our faces like changing the furniture, when we want variety we're pretty much limited to color and texture. (Of course, you can pay big bucks to "rearrange the furniture," but you can't ever return it to its original position!) Although women can't do much with texture on their faces (nor would they want to!), we guys can always add "carpet" or a "throw rug" to our facial ensemb.

BUT, with the facial hair, I do have one major phobia...maverick crumbs and boogers.  So if any of you happen to see either dwelling where they don't belong--PLEASE tell me.  I hereby entitle (BEG) you to do so.  Neither of us has to be embarrassed about it.

(Other than when written by Matt Walker, I'm not sure the word "booger" is considered appropriate for a blog.  If I have offended you, I sincerely apologize.  Even if I have, if you see a runaway crumb or booger on my face, please inform me!!!)

BTW - I learned on my new phone today, that 499 years ago today, Henry VIII was crowned King of England.  Cool idea:  Let's throw a big 500th anniversary party next year!!!! Potluck, anyone!?!?! (With HIS beard and table manners, he must have really struggled with crumbs and boogers, but nobody was brave enough to inform him of such.   If he was happy to kill off or exile his wives, what would he do to a lowly crumbfinder?)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Lost Art of "Visiting"

Last week Diane Davis was in town visiting a lot of her friends from Orange County--many of whom were in school with her at PCC/Hope. In addition to their PCC friendship, she has been one of Kristi's blog buds since Kristi started blogging last year. Even before I started my own blog, I would check out (stalk?) Diane's blog when I read Kristi's. Then, when I cranked up my own blog in January, Diane responded to a couple of my posts--I think the first one was about an Anne Lamott book I'd quoted.

Anyway, when Diane was here in the O.C. she went out of her way to squeeze Lyn and me into her busy "visiting" schedule.  I thought that was so neat.  And it got me to thinking.  In our frantic-paced culture today, sitting down with friends for a period of conversation with no agenda is basically unheard of.  Who sits down with a neighbor to chat?  Who, besides your family, ever plops down on a living room chair?  Do we have to officially "entertain" people to have those kinds of experiences?  

Even as cool as our visit with Diane was, it was still somewhat governed by an agenda: "meeting Kristi's parents" in the midst of her very busy trip itinerary. (Meeting again, actually--she'd been in our home years before, but Kristi and Jennifer had so many friends in and out of the house over the years, it was hard to keep track of them all.)  Agenda or not, the visit with DD was great.

I remember as a kid when friends just "popped in" for no reason.  Just to sit and talk a while, maybe watch some TV (black & white), or play some Monopoly.  I even loved being at my Grandma's house and getting to know all her senior-citizen pals.  Some of those old ladies had amazing stories to tell.  Some of her old-men friends could spin some tall tales in addition to lamenting about the woes of the world--and the Kennedy-Nixon debates!

But it wasn't just old folks that "visited."  It was a part of the culture of the 50s and 60s.

Of course, we're much more sophisticated these days with our cellphones, instant-messaging, and mind-boggling schedules.  I just regret that we don't get to just spend time with each other. When Diane sat with us in the living room that afternoon, simple face-to-face, non-electronic conversation just happened.  Way cool.

I guess the cultural absence of sit-down-for-a-spell visiting is why blogging is such an interesting (and satisfying) phenomenon to me. Not only are people preserving their thoughts in writing, but it's almost like having a real conversation--minus eye-contact.  (Especially the comments.  Raves, too.)  I suppose that's why I wrote what I did yesterday.

In addition to blogging, I would suggest that we look for opportunities for our living room sofas to become acquainted with the backsides of people outside our families.  On-the-fly, unscheduled living room ("parlor") visiting can really be a heady experience. If you get a chance, try it!  Meanwhile, PLEASE keep blogging!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Doldrums In BlogVille

I guess the summer heat is taking its toll on all of us bloggers.

I checked all my links this morning (and over the last few days) and only a few folks had written much of anything this week--myself included.  That's not a criticism...just an observation.  I know it's been a doosey of a week for most of us--between moving, sickness, kids-out-of-school-for-the-summer,  travel, and work.  I just hope everyone is well.  I miss the "Mercy, I can't keep up with everyone's blogging" panic.  It's just different than, "Hallelujah! He/She finally wrote something!!!"  It's been quite an adventure since I joined ranks back in February--children in ambulances, the 7 Republicans, kids in hospitals, the 5 Democrats, the Oscars,  Idol, Valentines Day, kids art, frustrations, romance, Idol, raving, pics and comments on our kids/grandkids, birthdays, Idol, Disneyland, deep theology, Idol, Hillary and Barack, favorite foods, book reviews, Idol, movie reviews, Idol, tributes, potlucks, disco revivals, Idol, the price of gasoline, those who think they can dance, and Obama & McCain (a.k.a., Those Who Think They Can Govern).

Just wanted the Blog Fam to know they're missed!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Favorite Movies

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine "tagged" me to list my 10 favorite movies.  She implied at the time that it would probably be impossible for me to limit the list to ten, and she was absolutely right.  I did try!  
The best I could come up with was 25.  (Actually, it's 26, because I lumped 2 similar flicks together.)  Then, to add to the complication, Lyn and I saw IRON MAN over the weekend.  I'm thinking it might make its way into one of my all-time favs...time will tell.  (It was a great movie, if you haven't seen it yet!  I've always liked Robert Downey, Jr., in spite of his issues. Which reminds me--his HEART AND SOUL was another of my favs that didn't make my list.  hmmmmm . .  Then there's STAR WARS and STAR TREK: THE VOYAGE HOME....oh my!!!)  

I'm sure next week, the list would be different if I were to post it.

Anyway, here's my top 25 broken down into some very generic categories.  (I DID award a "blue ribbon" to my all-time favorite, and 10 "red ribbons" to the next level of favorites. 

DISCLAIMER:  I probably should have included LOVE STORY because of the role it played in the "courtship" of Lyn and me.  It would be on the list for sentimental reasons, but not for any real enjoyment or long-term appreciation of the film on its own merit.  Even at the time, the line "Love means you never have to say you're sorry," seemed like one of the stupidest sentences ever uttered.  So LOVE STORY is nixed from the favs list.

Schindler's List

2001: A Space Odyssey (This was the "you either love it or hate it"                                           movie of all time!  I loved it!)

Sleepless in Seattle (when Rosie was her most lovable self! ..."like a little clue!")
While You Were Sleeping
Notting Hill
P.S. I Love You

Dances With Wolves
Immortal Beloved

Dead Poets Society
The Pianist
The Lake House (hmmm....perhaps more chick flick???)
Kramer vs. Kramer  
There Will Be Blood

Tootsie/Mrs. Doubtfire
Back To The Future I
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Field of Dreams
The Sound of Music - best musical of all time
add-on 1:  Big Business (great farce!  Sorry I went to 26/27 on this                                                                                                one!)
add-on 2:  The Princess Bride (how could I have forgotten this one?!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

36 Years!

36  36  36  36  36  36  36

Lyn and I leave tomorrow for a 3-day trip to Palm Desert, in celebration of our 36th anniversary on Monday! Yep, THIRTY-SIX years!  Three dozen!!! It's hard to fathom that we're reaching this milestone--but very cool at the same time.  I remember a time when someone's BEING 36 seemed like they were in the throes of old age!  I'm happy to report that they have been 36 great years!

I love numbers (even though I hate math), and the number 36 is an especially cool here's a little trivia I discovered:

1. 36 is a square number:  6 x 6 = 36
2. 36 is a triangular number:  1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8= 36
3. A beer barrel is 36 gallons
4. William Shakespeare wrote 36 plays
5. The probability of throwing double six on two dice is one in 36
6. The American flag had 36 stars from 1865 to 1876 - Nevada was the 36th state
7. 36 is evenly divided by 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18
8. 36 is the number of degrees in the angle of all 5 tips in a perfect star
9. 36 multiplied by any other number ALWAYS produces a quotient whose individual digits add up to NINE.  
    i.e.  36 x 2 = 72 (7+2 = 9)
    or   36 x 36 = 1296 (1+2+9+6 = 18) (1+8 = 9)

Neat, huh?

Anyway, I've loved my great wife for 36 years, and there's nothing "trivial" about that!  Happy anniversary, Lyn!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dr. WHO??????

Driving home today, I nearly wrecked the car from laughing so much! (Not really even close to wrecking the car--but I WAS laughing pretty darn hard!)

I was listening to KRLA and this commercial about a "prostate specialist" came on.  The gist of the commercial was funny enough until they announced the name of the sponsoring doctor--an L.A. specialist named DR. POOGASH!!!! I don't know why, but I felt like a 5th grader laughing at a possibly "off-color" joke.  But a prostate doctor named "Poogash" is seriously funny in my sick little old-guy mind.  

It consequently spawned a bunch of "what-if" doctor names in my head:

Proctologist - Dr. Krack (he would share offices with Dr. Poogash)
Internist - Dr. Gutman
Anesthesiologist - Dr. Dozer
Dentist - Dr. Moeller
Pediatrician - Dr. Kidman or Dr. Childe
Podiatrist - Dr. Foote or Dr. Bunyan
Obstetrician - Dr. Storke
Ophthalmologist - Dr. Iris

As you might expect, I have a great one for another speciality,  but I'll keep that one to myself.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My girls!

Jennifer posted this today, but it bears repeating!!!  L 2 R - Lexi, Emily, and Haley.  Can't wait for them to experience Walt Disney World together, even if Emily won't remember it.

Vacation Countdown

Only 21 days til we fly to FLORIDA!  Heat, Humidity, and MICKEY    MOUSE . . . Can't wait!

Neither can Lexi.  She walks around the house with her Tinkerbell suitcase saying "Dinney Worl."  Just a few more days, Sweetie!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Kids' Cute Words

This morning was the men's breakfast at church.  (Which was really good, by the way.) I had some work to do in the office afterward, but when I came out of the elevator upstairs, I heard Lexi calling out, "Pa-Pa!" in her deep-toned Brooklyn accent.  So I looked in the auditorium and saw that she and Haley were there with Curtis--who was helping Billy and Shane set up things onstage for the weekend. They both came running over to me and Haley proceeded to rattle on about knowing that granddad (Bruce) wasn't going to be "teaching tonight."  I wasn't exactly sure what her point was, but her final comment was, "I knew that he wasn't teaching, because I have a very good remembery."  I thought that was so cute.

It reminded me of the funny little phrases that have stuck in our memories of Kristi and Jennifer's growing up days.  

Kristi used to love spaghetti more than anything.  She called it SPED-ih-dy.  She also loved bananas (poor child).  She said the word almost right--it was the accent that was wrong.  She called them BAH-nuh-nuhs.  When Jennifer was born, Kristi (who was 3 at the time) loved to watch her sleeping.  Once, seeing her wake up, Kristi excitedly said "She open she eyes!"

My favorite word was Jennifer's take on air-conditioning.  She referred to it as "AIRK-shuh-nar-ey."  Lyn and I still say that when referring to a.c. at home.  It's  much more interesting than "air conditioner."  Both Jennifer and Kristi were pretty big kids before they understood that "afternoon" was a word.  They thought it was "safternoon," having heard "this afternoon" thousands of times.  (e.g., "We're going to a birthday party tomorrow safternoon.")

To this day, it's a treat to hear Kristi say "Cracker Barrel" (the restaurant).  And speaking of more current word mix-ups (as heard, not spoken), if you want to hear a REALLY funny story, have Jennifer tell about her short-lived quest for "castor oil"  toward the end of her pregnancy.  It's a riot.

Anyway, I'm sure you parents (or grandparents) have some fun kid-sayings that are precious to your family's history.  Why don't you share one or two?!  Surely you have a very good remembery too!

Have a great weekend!

[SUNDAY MORNING EXTRA:  Lyn told me last night that when she was driving Lexi to church yesterday, the car radio was turned on a news show while Lexi quietly did her own thing in her car seat.  When the news reporter mentioned the name Barak Obama, Lexi--staccato Brooklyn accent intact--parroted, "Buh-rocka-BAM-uh!  Buh-rocka-BAM-uh!  Buh-rocka-BAM-uh!"  She's quite the playback machine!]

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Phone Possibility

I'm shopping around for a new phone.  We're stuck with Sprint for a couple more years, so the options are limited.  (I say "stuck," because I know many folks hate Sprint almost as much as other folks hate George Dubya.)  Actually, we've never had any real problems with Sprint--even with customer service, which seems to be their nemesis.

Well, the phone I'm really looking at is the Samsung INSTINCT which doesn't release at Sprint until the middle of June.  It's supposed to be a decent "rival" to the iPhone.  The specs on it look pretty good to my non-techie analysis.  You can read about it on the link above.

One of the things I really need is the good old QWERTY keyboard.  I'd be a lot more open to texting if I didn't have to do the whole alpha-numerical conversion mumbo-jumbo. Of course, "QWERTY" is an American term, based on our traditional typewriter keyboard arrangement.  Lyn and I learned the hard way that keyboards around the world are all different.  (When we were in France the first time, our e-mailing on French keyboards was unbelievably frustrating and very entertaining.)  So, I thought I'd show you some of the keyboards you'll find if you travel abroad without your laptop!

BTW, if you've heard any good or bad stuff on the Instinct, I'd love to hear.  


The French Keyboard
(there are different layouts for almost
every country in continental Europe)

The Arabic 

The Mandarin Chinese
(which corresponds to ours!!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Laptop Is Sick (Wamp! Wamp!)

Spent part of the day in the bar.  The "Genius Bar" at the Apple Store, that is.  Bottom line, due to someone's tripping on my power cord (not one of the magnetic attachment kind) a few months back (causing a dent on the side of the computer among other thines), the internal power board has crashed.

The "genius" told me I really didn't want Apple to fix it.  It would be nearly $1300 if they did! They gave me the name of somebody local they refer all their menial repairs to.  Guess we'll be going to the "clinic" for a laptop labotomy tomorrow.  Should be a fraction of what Apple would cost.  Sure hope so.  I'd like to get another year out of it at least.