Sunday, November 25, 2007

Male Empathy

Sundays do get busy. This was "Christ The King Sunday" for many church goers. For others it is the Sunday which precedes the "First Sunday in Advent." All good things to keep track of for future reference when one wonders what the organized denominations are up to as they approach Christmas in a nation that no longer is willing to accept us calling it a "Christian" holiday. I've also seen blurps our here about why we don't have a similar Muslim tradition....duh...are you blond? That is not where I was headed this evening and I have digressed. My apologies. Thanksgiving we were with friends and family at a gala celebration. The home,I've been informed, is about 8,000 square feet and absolutely fantastic! The food(3 Turkeys and one huge ham)plus side dishes of every imaginable construct was perfect and more than enough for the 30-40 folks gathered. we shared gifts and talents throughout the evening and best of all there was a brand new(2 month old)baby in our midst. Her first trip to the Thanksgiving festivities. In the midst of it all as I prayed for the food and the folks(including our service men and women and their families)I was reminded once again of how very gracious God has been to me, personally. The land that I was born in, the place I grew up, the people that I share everyday life with, and our God who has created it all. The only word I can use to describe the feeling is "Blessed" beyond belief. I pray your Thanksgiving was a good one and that Christmas this year will be even better. Know that you are loved and that the only distance between us and hope is between our knees and the floor. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We Move In About Nine Hours

This morning I watched as the sun lit up the windows on this grand old gal. It almost appeared at times as though the lights were on and the day was starting in the dining room. We've had some difficulties getting ready to move, but I believe in my heart of hearts that they will soon come to an end. You see, we are now vested in one another. Had nothing ever changed in her demeanor the Beale House would have remained on the historical registry and immovable. Now, however, she has become a homeless home, and we who have lived next to her for a lot of years have grown to respect and love that house. Clara Beale was famous for hosting folks in her home, and I do believe that she would be really happy with what we are trying to accomplish. So many portions of the interior still reflect her grace and charm. For better or worse we are committed to the attempt to restore, refurbish, and reflourish in the shadow of this ediface to posterity. Perhaps one day it will all be settled and done. That is doubtful, as if anything I've ever done is "finished" completely. As I look back at the tappings I've done it appears that the correction thingy thinks I'm mispelling more than is usual. That is because I'm sharing and I'm not all that concerned with the form if it conveys the essence of meaning. I said once before in this blog that I would try not to write so much about the "project," as I now refer to it, but I find that I cannot do that. Much is to be done, and it may never end, and for that I am thankful. As we transition from land lines for communication to wireless the next few days I am reminded of how far we have come, and how far we have to go. I don't like change, you see, so the easiest thing to do is switch over to all wireless now and live with it until I move. Then at least one facet of my life will remain as I know it. What a deal! Cheryl is slumbering peacefully at this moment, the temp outside is 28, and in my office it is 38. I like those 10 degrees. Snickers was out a while ago to let me know that he needed to go out in the cold. For him that is better than a scolding in the morning. Other than that all is right in my world and I pray it is well with yours, also. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Up, Up, And Away!!!

You will have to excuse the pun, but this is funny. I haven't got the hang of how to get all the pieces back in place on my blog so all of the stuff that is supposed to be on the side is way, way down at the bottom.
The garage is up! That is so cool! We've been waiting, and waiting, and then waiting....remember what I said about God's timing vs mine? Tomorrow morning(or so I have been informed)the pieces will go to their new places. Now, here is the funniest part of the day....The garage is being set on a "proper" foundation(meaning done the right way)and with all of the contractors, builders, and experts we have working on this project(tape measure out the ying yang and clipboards filled with notes)nobody but me tumbled(Only This Morning)to the fact that the doors are not going to close to the concrete. I didn't figure that out until I saw the structure up in the air and visualized it being set down. That is when I said to myself, "Self, this isn't going to work!" I'm still chuckling over this one. I will also remind you that I have mentioned that God has a wonderful sense of humor: After all did he not create us? It's good to laugh about the circumstances that life places each of us in, although there are many that are not funny. In the face of insurmountable adversity we have very few choices, we can laugh or cry; hurl epitaphs at the heavens; or choose as I did this morning, get down on our knees and give thanks and pray for the outcome.
The sun has begun to peek through the overcast skies on the Great American Desert. This is a good thing! I can now see both of the structures that will move tomorrow at 8 am. My first thought is....Don't they look nice with both of their sides facing the same direction, it is almost as though God has a plan. And I know He does, I just wish He would give me a burning bush every once in a while to talk to. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Time Gets Away From Me

January 14, 2007

It seems we went on celebrating my B'Day for the midst of that work continued and I was there to witness the floor of our new kitchen being polished off. It is getting mighty cold out here on the Great American Desert, but I can't complain, it's way better than some years. The concrete has had time to cure and we should be setting all the little blocks in place very soon. It would seem that I have been in the process of doing that for a lot of years. Everything from square blocks and tinkertoys to lincoln logs and plastic bricks. I pray that this is the last time I'll be moving, but only God knows for certain. The best part of the whole situation is that I have had a wee bit of time to consider what we are engaged in and reconsider the time it is going to take to accomplish all of the tasks. I think I get antsy about progress and God just has to pull a few pins out from under me to bring about a slow up. You see, it does not have a lot to do with what we as people plan, it only sees fruition by the Grace of God. And that folks is how I live and manage to keep on going. I know that in all of the setbacks and errors that have occurred there is a purpose, a design, if you will, to this project. I don't mean the design that I've put down on paper in my humaness but a greater design. We have had folks drop out of the project, put us off for weeks, just not show up to do what they said they would do, and then, following our prayers and in answer to them others have shown up to take over the work. We receive them gladly, and the new relationships that have formed as a result will endure. We've shed tears of joy and sadness in the midst of all that is going on, and for ten days I lost track of time as I scurried about being worried about the stuff(as if by worry I could change anything)and learned in the process, once again, that God's timing is perfect and mine stinks. So, tonight I am thankful that some of the time got away(I could have done without the week of rain early on in the process, but that's life). I really needed it for other things. It may also be that through this ordeal of expectation I am growing a stronger relationship with my wife. That is a blessing! She is sleeping sweetly and soundly at this moment, and I have got to get out of this office. It's unheated out here, and the temp is down to about 40 degrees. I pray your life is going well. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy B'Day To Me

I don't know what to write this evening. This has been a very important day for me. How often does one realize they are loved by others more than they could ever imagine? Does the cookie bouquet say it? Maybe the cards and E-mails....or the calls from friends. Nope! I can say without a doubt that is the eternal love of God that makes my 58th B'Day a cause for celebration. You see, I know tonight that God had this day planned to perfection even before my bones were knit together in my mother's womb. She, if still alive, would have called around 6 am to let me know that this was a day to remember. Until 9 years ago she did that every year just to let me know she loved me. God does the same thing for each of us, only He does it every day. In all that we have been given to enjoy, and all the many blessing we receive, He is there to remind us of how very much we are loved.
I was moved to tears, abandoned to laughter, and held close in the arms of my family this night. Each one of them is an unanticipated blessing in an old preacher's life experience. Thank you to my friends. Thank you to my God. You are, each in your own special way, awesome!!! Goodnight and God bless. I pray your life is surrounded every day with the love that we have only to open our spirits up to receive. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Big RV

I've been trying not to bore everyone with the day to day details of our house project, but it seems I am failing miserably. Last evening the masonry workers called to inform me that the basement floor has been poured and we should be ready to position the house in 7 days. Right now the Beale house is the largest RV in SD....LOL.....that's just me being silly. It was quite the event to watch as they blasted the blocks apart and built up the equipment under the home which would place it on the trailer bed. Videos were shot from every angle, and the entire neighborhood was filled with camera bearing denizons snapping away(me included). I've included a pic of the artist's rendering via 'puter the project as we have it thought out. I know, taking a pic of the printout on the kitchen table isn't a great idea, but it works and I have a lot of far removed relatives anxiously awaiting this blog posting so they can see what we have been up to all summer and fall. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3800 square feet when completed(probably in a year or so)and we still have to work out the floor plan for the addition that joins 21st century to 19th century. I'll do a thing one day on the homes interior after it has settled in on the property and the new windows and doors have been installed. What a bunch of stuff! Whoosh!!! I awoke in a sweat with nightmares about the concrete work at 4:27 in the am. Today the phone calls have been flying. Then there was the radio thing with a local station manager who went on for twenty some minutes about the historicity of the home and why it should not leave the city. We have even been threatened with folks blocking the removal by lining up cars and trucks to prevent it rolling 5 miles away(where, incidentally, it will be only a few blocks from the county museum). What a deal! Only time will tell, but I know in my heart that God is blessing this piece of work and that in the long run we will be set up to house itinerant christian musicians, fellow preachers, and students of theology. I think for me the most fun will happen when we get to set up the library, music studio, and computerized offices. For my wife, Cheryl, her pleasure will come when she gets to decorate the old and the new. Both of us together, however, will not truly appreciate the creation until it is filled to capacity with holiday guests and dignitaries from the state of South Dakota. Out here on the Great American Desert that means about 15 folks.....just kidding! If you are one to include others in your prayers you might entertain the thought of including us in the months to come. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ghosts, Goblins, Witches and More

The pictures are courtesy of the Lopers in BelFouche, South Dakota. They do an amazing thing with decorations and lights for holidays. Gary is like a kid in his enjoyment of the process of installing a setting that reflects his "inner child." That is, in and of itself, a great trait to enjoy. He does the same thing for Christmas and the Fourth of July. He and Char's home and yard become a personal playground upon which he paints a vivid picture in color and light. I sit and look at this year's edition and just smile. I get to see the canvas every year in August, and I must say the changes are always welcome. People are probably in a constant state of change in one way or another. As for me, I have never much liked change. Even the seasons are difficult to accept. I would have every day be like every other day, and that has got to be a boring way to live. This is my 8th and final fall in this home from which I swore we would not move. Never swear by anything under heaven, it might crop up to bite you later. This morning saw a dawn of chilled air and frosty ground out here on the Great American Desert. The house we are taking to the country was due to be lifted at noon but because of high winds in the country on another project we won't get it done until tomorrow(today later). I've been in a tizzy over the entire project for the past hour. Worrying about details! As if by one moment of worry I can change any aspect of the future. For sure we can't change the past, but a lot of folks spend a great deal of time fretting the past, as well. Here is a thing I got for my B'day about thirty years ago....

I was regretting the past and fearing the future
Suddenly my Lord was speaking,
"My Name Is I Am"
He paused. I waited. He continued,
"When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WAS.

When you live in the future, with its problems and fears
it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here
my name is I AM."

That was written by Helen Mallicoat and has been hanging in my offices longer than I care to remember. That is a good thing. Carl Jung had a sign hung over his door which read, "whether invited or uninvited, God is present." If I didn't get that exactly to the letter please forgive me the memory is getting more lax as time progresses. If you have needs in your life this day, fears, apprehensions, doubts, please know that they will stop your ability to enjoy the beauty of all that God has given us. That includes everything!!! I'm smiling once again as I tap out a few words for folks. Maybe this is another example of me talking to me, I do that quite often when I'm working. That and singing songs. Have a wonderful day and may this November be your best ever. In Christ's Love, Preacher.