Archive for September, 2013

Cell phones are the new long distance

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

As  I began my day today a thought just hit me.

When I was dating back almost 4 decades ago, long distance was expensive.  I would phone, and keep the comments short.  Every second counted and the count on every second could be measured in money!

With the new cell phone plans, we are able to spend a lot of money to get long distance and other amenities.  When, a decade ago, I first heard that “communications technology” cost over $100 for some people, I was shocked.  With more than one cell phone in many families, the cost can run much higher today.

I have tried to find ways to combat this cost.  I still maintain a land line which can be used by multiple people.  I have an inexpensive long distance package.  I pay per minute for cell phone use.  I pay for a relatively inexpensive internet access. 

I give people the number of home and work phones – those are constant costs.  I find free wireless for my data access when I am away from my home.  I don’t talk long on my cell phone – which is exactly what I used to do with long distance.

Funny how we talk about long distance no longer being costly – but at the same time our “communication” costs have increased.   I wonder what the next new cost will be?

The taste of harvest

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Saturday was a day of new beginnings.

Of course, I was turning the leaf of a new decade.  I am now officially 60 years old – although I often thought of the sixtieth year during my fifty-ninth year (or is that really the sixtieth year which culminates in a birthday we call our sixtieth birthday!).

The greater fun of the day was a two hour trip into the lands surrounding our town. 

I quickly forget how much I love the prairies.  The landscape stretches for miles and the slight undulations of the fields makes for a beautiful pattern.  Sometimes a gully or a bluff of trees adds greater contrast.  The light hues of brown and orange make for a pleasing sight.  Add to that the color of the moon in the evening and you have a great portrait of God’s creation.

But the real fun was stopping to pick our own harvest.  Both Cynthia and I are not farmers, nor raised on the farms – although both of us were born into farming families.  The opportunity afforded us time to pick a few pods and harvest a few seeds – of lentils and peas and wheat.  Nothing like fresh from the ground, unprocessed food.  OK, we just had a few seeds – not a meal!

Oh, and then the cinnamon buns we bought.  Sticky buns.  As we are one outdoors, a fly came by, alighted on the bun and couldn’t get away.  Death by syrup! 

A good day!

Heading to 60

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

I have a friend who just turned 99.

To be approaching 60 seems a bit as though I’m still a teen.  God has much in mind for those whose lives are extended.  We call that retirement, but from what I have seen, most retirees are busy. 

Busy with life, with family, with friends, with compassion and care.

How we move from the early adult years, where there is family building and career building, into the later adult years, is always a wonder!

I wonder if we slow down because of our bodies, or because of experience and realization that we are not in charge.  God must have a rightful place, and there is a great saying – “Be still and know that I am God!”

I wonder if we see family and friends with greater depths.  In a society such as ours, where transience is the norm, I find that I return more and more to those that have been close over the years.  Yes, there are new additions, but they do not replace the foundations from years past.

I wonder if we need to arise each morning with radical gratitude.  Marathon strength is God’s gift to us as we grow older.  May we thank God each day as we seek to see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly, follow Him more nearly!

Flow

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

We sleep in summer with our windows open.

As the evening falls, the hum of air conditioners seems to take to the air.  We live close to an institution that has large fans and mechanical activity.  After a while this becomes usual.

Near day break, our silence is broken by new sounds.  Trucks begin to arrive with annoying back up signals.  The traffic on the nearby highway begins to accelerate.  As the hour turns, and people are headed to their workplaces, the decibels rise and fall accordingly.

Mid morning seems to carry more quiet, as air conditioners become less active and sometimes even silent.  The traffic slows and the sun is often shining.  Late afternoon then accelerates with return from work and evening activities awakening noises of lawn mowers and house renovations.

When the evening returns, the flow finishes its cycle.  In  this there is regularity.  And a sense of continuity.  When life has ups and downs, the reminder that God makes sure the sun rises and sets is a settling thing!

Parent teacher interaction

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Almost a decade later, and I’m back to the parent-teacher interaction.

Last night was an open house at our high school.  My step-son has taken his first few days of classes and this was an opportunity to meet the teachers. 

And so, off to school we went. 

No expectations other than a visit.  And visit we did.  With all five teachers for this semester.  All had recollections of Jared – a good thing in this case! 

For me, this is both a new thing and a recycled thing.  My children finished high school classes about a decade ago.  They were relatively good students with some points of discussions over the years.  Both graduated.

That’s the recycled part. 

The new part is a system that has changed somewhat.  There is definitely a specified place for a larger assessment of students.  Not just academically but in many other aspects of their lives.  Professionals are hired to care for this area (they were there before, but with a lesser profile, if I remember correctly).  The curriculum also has recognized, in a greater way, two streams – academic and technical. 

All this is a part of my new learning scheme.  I’m glad, in my old age, that my mind is still working.  And will have to continue to work!

Warfare

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

I suppose we should expect opposition.

I have had an aversion to seeing the devil under every stone.  Warfare has more easily been understood as following the principles of Jesus.  Where there is an obvious breach of sin or an outright action of commission relating to pride, lust, envy, jealousy, immorality, etc., that must be cared for.  Most of life is best cared for in this mode!

I am not as sensitive to the engulfing presence of the evil one(s) as I would like to be.  There is a point where life throws a blanket over joy, without warning.  With nothing that would appear to be sinful, a bump in the road appears.  Perhaps just for a moment in thought, sometimes for an extended period of distraction.

The blanket is not one that I pull over my head.  The blanket seems to have been thrown over myself or a group of people indiscriminately.

Maybe not so indiscriminately.  The other world, the world of the spirit and not of the flesh, has those who are watching over us.  Not for good, but for evil.  I need to be reminded that pushing back that attack needs special forces – personal prayer, mustering an army to fight with me, resisting the devil based in Jesus, and, I suppose, learning to recognize the form of an attack.

In this last while there have been those times.  Scary times.  The kind that causes you to flee to Jesus.  And to appreciate others who are on this journey with you.  Thank you for your whispers for me.  Keep it up!