Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Was Wonderful

It really was a great weekend. I played a round of golf on Friday with Jason, our Student Pastor. He played bogey golf. I, on the other hand, did not do so well, but I learned a lot about why I was doing so poorly. Now I can make some corrections. It was fun being with Jason and playing golf early in the morning.

On the 17th hole we found out that Julie, our worship assistant, was going into the hospital as soon as a room was ready. She finally got a room about 5:00 p.m. So she spent the day in pain waiting for a room. I saw her that evening, but now she is doing much better and hopes to come home tomorrow or the next day.

Saturday our whole family went over to our friend's home--The Krolczyk's. We have known Leroy and Sharon since the 70's when our children were quite young. Jared had not even been born yet. Their daughter and husband, plus four daughters, were home on furlough from Jordan, where they are missionaries. It was great visiting with them. They will be in Texas until September when they will return to the mission field.

On Sunday morning I preached at our church. Pastor Sonny was gone to Israel and three other pastors were on a mission trip to Denver to help plant a church. It was a good day, although attendance was way off. Preached about Abraham on Mt. Moriah with Isaac and used some visuals that worked out well.

Went to lunch at a new hamburger place, called something like Moonya's. Don't know if that spelling is correct or not. They have the best hamburgers. Jared brought the grandchildren over and we had a relaxing afternoon until I went to visit Julie in the hospital again. The rest of the night was good. The kids spent the night with us.

Got up shortly after 6:00 this morning, shaved, and took a shower. Found Kallie awake about 7:00, just laying on her back singing. I changed her, fed her breakfast, and just had her to myself until about 7:50 when I woke Patti up because I had to leave for work. Reid was still asleep when I left, but it was really a great time for Kallie and me.

I hope your day is as good as what I have described.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Journey Into the Unknown

I just saw on television that NASA is gearing up to send astronauts back to the moon sometime about ten years from now. After that it will be beyond the the moon. That part of exploration is the journey into the unknown. We have never been there before. What new challenges will NASA face in going beyond the known? I am sure that they have it all planned out, but it is still the unknown.

Yesterday Tiffany, our daughter-in-law, had her gall bladder removed. It was a simple procedure, but the doctor filled her in on everything he was going to do and all about the recovery period. She came through it with flying colors, just a little sore this morning, but it was still a journey into the unknown. It was he first gall bladder surgery!

I am sitting here in front of the computer at 8:40 a.m. and don't have a clue about what could happen today. Yesterday we had a rail tragedy in Washington D.C., more protesters were killed in Iran, and they tell us that the recession is deeper than expected and the stock market dips 200 points. It is all about a journey into the unknown.

Journeying into the unknown can be a little intimidating. Notice that i did not say fearful. God is not the author of fear. When a person gives their life to Christ and there is a change withn, an about face as it were, the unknown following that is another one of those journeys into the unknown. The new believer does not know what to expect. You can prepare them with insight, but they have never been there before. You can share with them what they need to do to begin the spiritual growth cycle, but it is pretty much greek to them. They need someone to walk with them. We call the process discipleship and we call the mentor the discipler. It is all new, but just remember the unknown factor the next time to come along side a new Christian.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 21...A Special Day

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year. After Sunday, the days start getting gradually shorter for the next six months. I think there will be about 14 hours of daylight tomorrow. The sun has been rising earlier every morning and setting later each night. Therefore, the days have been getting longer.

But, the first day of summer is not why tomorrow is so important. Tomorrow is Father's Day. The Mathews clan will be meeting at our home for lunch, so it ought to be a great day. I love it when everybody is together. Now we have three dads--myself, Jared, and Steve. As little as three years ago it was just me. How quickly life changes. I am going to really enjoy being with everybody!

But, as good as Sunday will be, Father's Day is not why tomorrow is so important. Tomorrow is our 34th wedding anniversary.

It all officially started on June 21, 1975 the day Patti and I got married. I remember playing golf during the day, getting home mid-afternoon and taking a nap. I almost didn't wake up in time to get ready for the wedding, but I did arrive about the time Patti wanted me there. I remember a "ball and chain" being secured to my leg, so I had to duck walk to the car. I remember hiding out at a retired preacher's home, the drive to Pensacola, where we were surprised again, followed by the honeymoon to Disney World.

A lot has happened in the past 34 years. Would I do some things differently? You bet! Yet, I would do the primary things all over again. I must be one of the most fortunate men alive to have Patti by my side after 34 years. I've got two of the best kids anyone could ever hope for. Today we have a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law, who we deeply love, plus four grandchildren. They are all the most precious people in all the world.

If I had not met Patti in 1974 and married her in 1975, none of this would have happened. There would be no Jared and Miranda. There would be a Tiffany and a Steve, but we would not know them as family. There would not be four adorable children that are our grandchildren.

So, tomorrow when we acknowledge fatherhood in our worship service, when we share lunch with each other, and when it is 8:30 when it starts getting good as all that will be, I'll be thinking about June 21, 1975 and the effects of that day in 2009!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cleaning...A Necessity

It is Spring Cleaning Day at our house just a few days before the first day of summer. Patti and I went for a walk after breakfast and then started moving furniture. Baseboards have been cleaned, carpet vacuumed, and upholstery cleaned.

I noticed a rubber band behind the couch, small patches of debris, misplaced miniature toys, and just your normal everyday dirt that you would expect to end up in a vacuum. We have probably not moved furniture like that in a while.

We all need a spiritual Spring Cleaning of sorts. I hope it comes more often than in the Spring though. I was cleaning off my work bench in the garage yesterday and the top back of it was full of cobwebs. Sometimes that happens in our daily lives. "Cobwebs" accumulate around our hearts from a lack of communication with the Father. We live in a fast-paced world and allow it to dictate what we do. As a result, our prayer life becomes stagnant and the "cobwebs" accumulate.

Sometimes we allow debris to accumulate as well. Maybe it is unconfessed sin. It is easy to see, but we ignore it as if it was not there. It breaks our relationship with the Lord and we wonder why we feel so empty. We wonder where the purposefulness went. We wonder why nothing seems to be going our way. Maybe we need a general cleaning and Spring time is never enough. It is a daily cleaning like taking a shower. You wouldn't think of skipping a day bathing our bodies, but we view spiritual cleaning as different.

Well, I've got to get back to helping Patti with this Spring Cleaning thing. I can help her do that, but the spiritual cleaning is a personal thing. I'm the only one that can do that. Think about it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Hot Day Can Teach Lessons

Sunday, after church, Jared and I hurried home to change clothes and eat a quick lunch before heading for the golf course. We had a 1:36 tee time and there were some dummies just like us out there.

The light breeze kept it relatively cool until about 4:00 and as one of our playing partners said, "If we didn't think it was hot before, it sure is now!" He was so right. I don't have a clue how hot it got, but it had to be around 97-98 degrees.

We only got to play 12 holes because I had to be back at the church for a program. But, I shot a 47 on the first nine holes. Earlier in the week I shot a 53-53, then a 51-50; and then on Sunday a 47. It is showing some improvement. I hope to shoot a 47-48 this week.

Yesterday's round reminded me a lot about life. We put on sun screen to protect us from the Sun's rays. You would be foolish not to use it. Likewise, it is stupid to try to live life without the armour of God to protect you. We would force fluids about every other hole to keep from getting dehydrated. It kind of reminded me of spending time with the Lord so we don't cave into the problems of the world. We wore golf gloves to keep the club from turning in our hands due to perspiration. It reminded me of listening to good Christian friends who can keep us from turning toward the world.

I hated to leave the course at the end of the 12th hole. It was like the round was not finished. Yet, duty called. There will always be this week. Maybe that is like being appreciative to the Lord for the day He just gave you. You need some sleep, but there is the grace of God.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Summer of 2009 Is Special

This has been a special week. Our entire family has been with us for at least part of this past Wednesday-today (Saturday). Yesterday I started off the day with a 6:20 tee time. I played with two other men, who are in the food service industry. They usually play early on Friday because around 11:00 their orders start coming in and it is controlled chaos the rest of the day. I had a good time with them.

One of my life buckets is to break 85 on the golf course. I've been playing since I was twelve, but have not been able to play regularly over the past few decades. I remember one time playing between 85-90, but I've not been back there yet. I'm planning to play with regularity over the next eight weeks and just see if I can do it.

Why do I like golf so much? I think because it is outdoors in a beautiful atmosphere, but most of's just me and God. That's how I felt this week. I'll let you know if I real my goal by the end of the summer.

Yesterday I cooked dinner on the grill. It consisted of 2-3 different kind of steaks and pork chops. Patti did the rest of the meal inside and she did a marvelous job. Everybody liked the food and there is plenty left over for the weekend. No more cooking, I guess, over the weekend.

We ended the day by attending a Cancer fund-raiser at Tiffany's (daughter-in-law) high school. We left there around dusk to get the kids home and to bed. The grandchildren ran all over the football practice field. They had a ball!

My life-long dream has been to retire and play golf several times a week. About six years ago I would drive past Southwyck Golf Club and see the men playing and I think I knew that it was never going to happen for me. I was working at Best Buy at the time and retirement/golf seemed like it was in the next galaxy. I believe I gave up on that dream, which I very seldom ever do, but it is sort of happening this summer. I should get a taste of what it is like. Maybe that will be good enough for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Is Here

I have had a great year teaching, but sometime during the last two weeks, I knew it was time for a break. Now the break is here. I am still working at the church two days a week, but to have Wednesday-Saturday off is magnificent.

Yesterday was my first summer day off. I got up at 5:15 to play golf. I had a 6:18 tee time. It was the first time in my life that I was the first one to tee off. There was nobody in front of me and after the first hole, there was no one close behind me. I had never experienced anything like that. I saw a Marshall a few times and an employee on a tractor fertilizing, but that was it.

Yes, it is light out at 6:18 if you were wondering. I finished the round in 2:48 which is unheard of for the course that I played. I've been in a tournament when it took over six hours to finish a round. I don't know if I have ever played 18 holes in less than 3 hours! As you could figure, I got through playing just after 9:00. One of the Marshalls told me that I could keep playing if I wanted to, but the funniest thing happened that didn't allow me to take him up on it.

Around the 8th hole I noticed that one of my soles was flip-flopping back and forth. I wondered if I would be able to finish. By the 12th hole it was getting much worse. I walked onto the green on #14 and walked out of the sole, leaving it on the perimeter of the green. Now I am practically walking on nothing, but the worst part was that now I was higher on one side than the other.

I made it through the 18 holes. While driving home I realized that those golf shoes were probably 11+ years old. I've got another pair, but they are about the same age. I have not been able to play much the past six years, so those shoes have just been sitting in the garage. Yesterday's pair was just rotted out I guess. Maybe I should check the other pair too...what do you think?

I've got a lot of things to do this summer, but I just wanted to enjoy this first week. I've got a lot of work to do to prepare for next fall's school year, many honey-do's to complete, and assorted other jobs. I think I will enjoy this time of being off. Life really is a journey isn't it!