Thursday, October 28, 2004

Blown Dry Goldilocks


Inspecting the Railroad.

Methinks her lips are swollen!

The Three Bears


Here is Goldilocks.

Indeed, one of Carolyn's favorite stories now -- behind the Bible where she is fascinated with the Creation and Abraham.

I love washing her deceptively long hair and combing it while wet and wavy.

Above, Carolyn's hair is drying. Not dripping, but not yet dry with full curls (yes, the above does not showcase her complete curly splendor!).

Happy Birthday!


Carolyn enjoying the moment of discovering her new book from Aunt Sheila!

It was also Carolyn's first White Birthday -- Snow!

The Blessings of our Age

Earlier I discussed the aching heart of separation from family.

It is true that many of us have chosen careers or paths that take us to the ends of this continent and globe.

We live in an age of technology that can bridge vast distances and increasingly easily. I can talk and see my wife and daughter on our computers at no cost (remember when such a concept was Star Trek science fiction?). I can talk to my mom anytime when we are both on the computer -- again at no cost.

No, this is not the same as a hug. No, this is not the same as tickling.

But, these are choices.

Now, imagine for a moment you are living only a century earlier.

You can only hear or see your loved ones in person (the written word was arguably better in earlier ages, and certainly more practiced -- will email and blogs cause further decline in writing or revive an age of letters?).

Imagine the heartache of travel and time away from your family.

Further, imagine that separation from your family is not voluntary.

While watching Fiddler on the Roof last night, I was struck by the overflowing Blessings of Liberty and Freedom we enjoy today. Those who have seen this bittersweet musical now the ending only too well.

A family, no, a people being uprooted and separated from their homes simply because someone says they do not belong.

Imagine being a target of a government pogrom. Imagine being forced from your home, your children being taken from you.

An era where goodbye is for all time here on earth.

No joyful anticipation of the phone call, only the anxiety of waiting for the next letter which often takes weeks to arrive.

Or, reflect upon writing a letter to a loved one never to receive a response. Without your knowing, they are a victim of a pogrom -- being murdered simply for who they are (or are not).

Could it happen again? Could it happen here?

I don't pretend to know, but I do know that Never is a very long time.

I do know that we are Blessed here in America, and that many have given all for these Blessings.

I also know that Faith in God (or at the very least living in accordance with the laws God has given our civilization) banks our passions.

However, passions overflow banks of civility in many parts of the world today.

While we must remain diligent, we must also live a life full of expectancy and celebrate our Blessings.

Imagine the Wonder we can instill in our children comprehending the sweep of history and our place in this Age of Freedom and Liberty today.

Only then, listening to and glorifying God while exercising our rights and responsibilities, will Never happen.

Monday, October 25, 2004


I fear too much.

Fear is my struggle with God over control of my life.

My transcendent fear grows from not letting go -- not turning my life over to God completely (leading to a reflection on Faith).

My biggest earthly fears are that I will not be there for my wife and daughter years from now when they need me.

I fear what others may say and do to my daughter given her gift of being different.

I also fear that Satan will do his best to keep my daughter from knowing the Lord. Clearly an unjustified fear with action rooted in His Wisdom, but a confessed fear nonetheless.

I do know my fears stem from not enough time listening to the Lord, and too much time listening to the world (and Satan loves that playground).

Jesus is a hunter of hearts, and I know that I am His prey.

I need to stop running and open my heart and arms wide to Him and His Church.

As my daughter Carolyn would say, "Stop!"

It is time.

A time for Peace.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Carolyn is enjoying wonderful visits from Nana Shirley and Grandma Logi.

I can remember what a treat it was to visit or be visited by (surprise!) Grandparents.

I miss talking to them, learning about our country's history as well as our families' histories. Most importantly, listening to their stories, their wisdom, their love.

People who remember the Depression.

World War II -- Hitler.

I remember going to used bookstores with Grandma Irene. The smell of old books was wonderful. And, Oh, the finds in bookstores along the Wabash! I remember her modesty. Her intelligence. Her persistance and hard work. Her love and pride of her family.

I remember Grandpa Vic's love of people. Not to be cliche, but he never knew a stranger. The stories long into the night on the front porch in Peru -- being transported to an earlier time, when life was not easy, when people worked to have food and a home, not a television in every room.

I remember Grandma Lois' adoring love of her grandchildren. I remember wanting to learn more of her family, and to know my Grandpa Gilbert. I have visited Africa. I have visited where my mother's sisters were born and where my Grandfather preached. I understand.

We live in a noisy time. A time that can too easily trap us in the present.

But, I remember.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

God Save the People

Carolyn and I had a Date Night while Kim was out doing hair.

We both took a nap together (she already was napping, and I was exhausted after a long week at work with little sleep).

Later, while Carolyn was eating and we were listening to Godspell, she heard and said God Save the People!

Thanks to Aunt Sheila's gift, Carolyn really enjoys her Bible.

Carolyn is learning -- God is Good.

Wonderful to have my "Gills" home with me tonight.

And. . . .

Wonderful to hear the bittersweet joy in Dad's voice from Helena, Montana.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Family Everywhere

I remember visiting Taiwan and staying with a friend and four generations of family living together.

The home was large and spacious, and with the grandkids running around, all were filled with life and good humor.

Americans, on the other hand, are a diasporic people.

My Sister and I live two thousand miles away from one another. Papa is also half a continent away (well he is in Wyoming as I type tonight).

Even I am separated from my wife and daughter during the week as they stay in a home, while I putter in the Bay Area (this is a choice that can be, and will need to be, remedied).

Yes, technology is making the world smaller, but that doesn't work as well for cousins who want to hug and play together.

We chase our careers and often lose our families.

As my niece would say, I miss my "Gills" tonight -- all of them, everywhere.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


A sobering reminder that Man does not do well playing God.


Indeed, a disturbing 1997 study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, [reported] doctors were killing approximately 8 percent of all infants who died each year in the Netherlands. That amounts to approximately 80-90 per year. Of these, one-third would have lived more than a month. At least 10-15 of these killings involved infants who did not require life-sustaining treatment to stay alive. The study found that a shocking 45 percent of neo-natologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to questionnaires had killed infants.

It took the Dutch almost 30 years for their medical practices to fall to the point that Dutch doctors are able to engage in the kind of euthanasia activities that got some German doctors hanged after Nuremberg. For those who object to this assertion by claiming that German doctors killed disabled babies during World War II without consent of parents, so too do many Dutch doctors: Approximately 21 percent of the infant euthanasia deaths occurred without request or consent of parents. Moreover, since when did parents attain the moral right to have their children killed?

Thank you Father for Your Covenant.

Thank you Father for Your Son.

We are not deserving.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Walking with my daughter in the Sierra.

Carolyn was diagnosed earlier this year with High-Functioning Autism. She exudes a never-ending fascination with His Creation.

May we all experience such Wonder all our days here on Earth.

Thank you Father -- You answer The Question of God daily.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Separating Heat from Light

This is a new journal for me.

Some of you may know about Sierra Sanity, but that is a political conversation -- focusing on the Country portion of God, Country and Family.

Since topics involving our Country right now involve a significant amount of "heat," I wanted to separate those thoughts from more reflective thoughts on God and Family.

You can argue that God and Country and Family cannot be separated, and I will not argue the point since I agree (I would even argue they should not be separated, and I may touch on that at some point). Perhaps the two journals will become one, but the time is not now.

God and Family are the focus here (although I will not guarantee politics will not occasionally intrude -- even if indirectly by link).

This will be an exercise in disciplined writing, and I encourage all to comment and participate as they are led.