Monthly Archives: April 2010

Temptations of Old Age

I encountered Keith Drury about a decade ago.  I was meeting with various pastors from our town.  One of them, a Free Methodist pastor, mentioned Keith’s name. 

Keith is a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.  His views are often on the edge, insightful and sometimes plain controversial.  The weekly writings come out on his website during the academic year.

A few months ago (in October) I ran across his article on the temptations of old age (instead of the sins of my youth, it was the sins of my old age!).  I’ve tucked them away until today when – with proper accreditation to him – I took the article and began a discussion of it amongst one of our senior’s groups here in town.

I got through two of the items in his lists of temptations and my time was up.  The thoughts really resonated with the residents. 

Want to see some of his thoughts?  Check here and here.  If you want to see what he is currently writing, check here.

Our son is home!

After a five month stint on board ship, Tim is home.

His day began in warm Orlando and ended in cool Saskatchewan. 

The opportunity to see him has intrigued me for some time.  As our children grow into adulthood we know that relationship ties will change.  There is no longer a need to be in constant contact – just knowing they are alive can be enough!

And now, we have the next two months in closer proximity.  We’ll talk, maybe I’ll ride bike with Tim, he’ll visit friends around the country, we’ll eat together.  And soon he’ll be off to Europe for his next contract.

But until then, I thank God for an opportunity to be with him again.

A chore or a joy?

For many years, one of my sidelights – those things that you just do for the fun of it- has been editing manuscripts. 

I started when I was writing my own papers in college.  I began to enjoy the revising of my papers as much as  the writing.  Too bad my research habits weren’t better.  Usually there was little time left over after I had finally gotten my information together!

Then I was asked to help edit the graduate school faculty journal.  Not a huge job, and mostly to make sure things were readable.  I joined a writer’s group and kept at the art of massaging a text to make it readable.

And now, for the fun of it, I’m editing a friend’s manuscript.  This is the second manuscript of her’s that I have read.  She has improved.  Her story line grows with each page, her characters have depth, and she actually uses words that are beyond a fifth grade level!

And so, in the next hour or so, I’ll sit and read and pencil in corrections and edits.  And I’ll hit the sack having enjoyed those last moments before my rest!

My two cents worth on Tiger Woods return

Well, resurrection was a part of this past week.  I celebrated Christ’s death and resurrection.  Then, I was asked by the media to celebrate another death and resurrection.

Nike decided Tiger Woods was worth too much to set him aside. So they prepared an ad with his deceased father asking his son what he was thinking; what he had learned. As though the institution of Nike could play God in some way and resurrect the son through a form of a confessional booth seen around the world. 

It seems to me that Nike’s famous slogan lives on – “Just do it”, as though winners get on with life.  But has death been confronted? 

A true resurrection requires a true death.  If all we do is pick ourselves up without becoming a new person, we are of all people the most to be pitied.  We will shrink from challenges, expect to do wrong all over again, and get caught in the whirlpool of despair.  But if a new person emerges, a new creation, not formed after your old self but made in the likeness of someone who has conquered your challenges – then you are indeed more than a conqueror.

That’s where the first resurrection is more important to me than re-inflating an image and brand name.  I trust Tiger will find this resurrection for his own life.

Projects and preferences

For years I have enjoyed woodworking.  I have original pieces that I worked on with my brother.  Refinished furniture that adorns our house.  And even a sign on the front of our house.

They were all enjoyable projects.  So, when asked about a consideration for a gift, I mentioned woodworking. 

A gift certificate was forthcoming.

Yesterday I wandered into Lee Valley Tools.  For the uninitiated, that is the “drool shop” for those who are into woodworking.

At first I thought I was missing it.  I circled the store with nothing to buy (other than perhaps a great chopping board and kitchen knife sharpener – which I eventually left behind).  As I left, I had a slight catharsis. 

I did not need any tools.  And when a project arises, I’ll be ready to check Lee Valley once again.  But for the moment my life is absorbed with other interests.  And that’s fine!

Hitting the road

Today I stepped out with my wife.  Once around the block.  Just enough exercise for her to tone her muscles.

For the last few months I’ve been riding a stationary bike for around 20 – 30 minutes every few days.

As I rounded the block I could hardly believe it.  I was not out of breath.  My muscles were just starting to loosen up.  My feet were ready to go another block or two.

Which makes me thankful.  Two years ago I could barely hobble a block to get physio for my double knee replacement.  I had come off of pain killers and was fearful a wrong step could put me into a tail spin.

And now, I jump up when needed, play floor hockey and enjoy a fairly healthy life.  I am thankful to God for new strength and a renewed life!

My wife left me

For an hour this morning!

What she missed!  In that time I had three sets of visitors, a further conversation, a bit of administration and much more.  By the time my wife returned the world had turned and life was a whole new ball game (OK, too many metaphors but life is a barrel of pickles).

So, to all who wish to accompany me on this road of life.  You never know what apples may fall from the tree.  Of course, most days there’s merely sand under foot!  But some days – the heavens fall and the atoms of life excitedly circle me.

OK, enough already!  My wife says I’m too wordy – that’s what happens when she leaves me!