The Life Flight Helicopter sat on the pad ready. The local critical team had her intubated and loaded with IV’s, bundled and ready to fly. Small plows were clearing the snow laden lanes. 90 minutes had gone by when seconds counted. Our daughter might die. All the medical centers said they were out of beds. There was no room.
I imagined she would be welcomed into eternity soon. I prayed “Jesus, this isn’t funny but its ironic that no one had room for you either on that first Christmas. Are you going to say to my daughter… there was no room for you in your world so I took you home to mine?”
A critical care unit found room and she was loaded and they were gone in a whirlwind of snow. We drove through the aftermath of the storm and found our daughter still alive but still unresponsive. More waiting. More praying. No more speculation. we are numb.
A couple of days and she could breathe on her own. Around mid day my wife was giving her a hug and her eyes drooped open for a bit and we heard a ragged “hi’ and she closed her eyes. My emotionally numb balloon burst. It was the most mind blowing word. “HI” meant she was coming back to our world. There was hope.
I reminisced about the hundreds of ways “HI” is used and understood. This “Hi” added a new level of meaning. It topped them all…except for the time when I was 11 years old and woke up to say “hi” to my parents (another time to tell). wait..another “hi” ranks higher. That first Christmas when Joseph, Mary and then local shepherds looked into the eyes of the newborn baby Jesus and said “hi” to God who became flesh. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to realize what was really going on. This is the ultimate “HI”.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”. John 1:14
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I’m writing from a hospital room. My wife and I have lived a month or more in the last 5 days. We have aged years. Our daughter is alive and getting better. We wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have said “HI” to Jesus.
This year (Day 1 ) we celebrated Thanksgiving with most of my siblings. Day 2 We went to a nephews wedding reception. Day 3 We celebrated Christmas early with our youngest and family. Three continuous days of celebration during the seasons first big snowstorm. I brought my camera.
I highly recommend taking purposeful pictures. Aside from hurting the dogs feelings (no chocolate for you big guy) on Christmas, a great time was had by all. I took pictures for several reasons and those reasons tend to guide how, when and where the camera is pointed and buttons are pushed. Click on one of the pictures for the slide show below.
Take Pictures with Emotion (excitement, thankfulness, contentment and so on).
Take relational pictures
Take posed pictures (spontaneous poses are best…hold it up! Snap…)
Use a good camera…sorry you cell phone users but get a good camera for good shots and practice framing your picture.
The kids didn’t care that some of the books and a couple of other gifts were slightly used. I wanted the best pictures possible with inside lighting but what I really wanted was “Keepers”, and we are all keepers. Family is so important. Important enough to take good pictures. In the end, family really needs to be content with each other, and we are!
Then my favorite all time Grandchild picture at Christmas…Way to go Nique!
For Inspiration in shooting photos with a theme, take a look at
I often talk about the disconnect between what we say and what we do. I want to show you an example of what one dad did for his daughters soccer team and their families. I think it’s incredible work and I also know this took many hours to produce.
Don’t just say you are proud of someone. Find a way to show it.
Find the time and use your talents. This will be a life long blessing. Thanks Ron!
You do not have to know any of these gals to be touched by this tribute. Imagine you are a parent of one of these girls. Click on the video link to watch this short tribute.
I have a bit of interest in the Kentucky State Championship game tonight, after all our granddaughter is the goalie and it’s her final high school game. Ron is my son in law.
Go Lady Gators! (from Bowling Green Kentucky) Win or lose they have been and will be life long winners.
Update: Liz’s Team wins 1-0. State champs…Proud Grandpa here
Greenwood goalkeeper Elizabeth DeMarse stepped up when her team needed her.
The senior had 12 saves in a 1-0 victory over Highlands in the KHSAA Girls’ Soccer State Tournament championship game at Bryan Station High School and was named to the All-Tournament team.
“It’s just staying focused,” DeMarse said after the game. “Every game is a new game, so I haven’t seen them in-game in the past, but I’m still prepared for them. I’m still practicing and still know what to expect.”
The championship match shutout was the eighth in nine postseason games for the Lady Gators.
DeMarse finished the season with 146 saves and 14 shutouts.
Could we not be that kind of people who use our talents and resources to go the extra mile for others?
There I was, reading Daryl Madden’s “Layers of Colors poem” which you should read if you love autumn, silence and..just read it..click here and the rains came, wind gusts filled the porch, blew open the end door and something came in trying to wreck the place. The grill was banging like a bear was trying to wreck it (which happens here often). It was just a bird.
A grouse flapping everywhere. Those things are dangerous in flight especially when they eat fermented berries this time of year and try to fly drunk. My house seems to kill a few every year trying to dodge those things. I only wrecked a couple things with no screens harmed and nothing band aids couldn’t fix on me catching the little grouse. Yep kind of little as grouse go but when he wrapped his little feet and claws around my fingers…we had to make some adjustments, is how I will say it.
I opened the screen door and placed him on the nice autumn leaves in the rain. He ran between my legs back into the screen porch. The chase was on again. It became easy to catch little grouse as he quit trying to fly.Flying into the screens didn’t work well. We repeated this twice so little grouse kept me company, I went back to reading until my wife got the camera and we posed for a few shots before I picked him up again and walked him out to the edge of the woods and let him go under a spruce tree in the heavy rain.
Now normal country living means little grouse for supper. Just so happens our freezer is full and I took a shine to the little guy. In a very real sense I extended Grace to little Grouse and let him live. My fingers wanted to wring his neck and grouse is a very tasty meal. I hunt them but a little drunk grouse? Um no.
As I get older, I appreciate more and more all of nature, all of what God has designed including His grace. Since the origin of sin, death is a part of life about 100% of the time.
I wonder how long it will take little grouse to fly again? It’s a life or death question for him in the wild. I have periods in my life where I couldn’t do anything risky. I couldn’t fly. Have you ever been there? then you know what I mean. Giving up is easy. I doubt little grouse understands what grace means. I wonder how many people actually understand God’s grace? If we accept His gift of Grace it means 100% life. Fly little Grouse fly.
I recently read (this morning actually) a passage on how much getting noticed meant to one man who has probably more influence than any of us could ever dream of doing. I have been thinking about it all day.
With a billion people on social media (whatever the number is it’s lot) it seems that getting noticed, going viral, getting likes and clicks, is the epitome for some people, largely ignored by some and then the very few who avoid the web like a flying insect (pardon the picture pun) I suppose it’s naturally human to want to make our mark, ding the world, stick out, get noticed or maybe even become famous (if only for 5 minutes). How else would one explain how people act or talk when put on camera or have a mic stuck in front of them. They become “somebody” even if they have no clue what they are doing or talking about. I know you have pictures of different people in your head already and I don’t want to know because I have those relatives as well, never mind the ones in the news.
The last basketball game I watched had a “kissing Cam”, camera which zeroed in on couples and when they noticed they were on the big screen they were supposed to kiss in front of 32,000 people watching the screen. One gal couldn’t get her boyfriend to cooperate (He was busy with a beverage and not interested) so she grabbed a total stranger nearby and kissed him. The boyfriend left (Click here, it’s at the end of the video)
Getting noticed has created countless political wars, media frenzies, lying, cheating, school shootings, smearing, countless murders and the negative list could go on and on throughout the centuries of mankind. On a positive note, getting noticed on a resume, playing well in sports, good products, courageous feats, defending from harm, righting wrongs and a countless host of good things can come from getting noticed. We all hope somebody will actually “like” our blog and maybe even make a positive “comment”.
Either way, there is leverage in getting noticed and the world wants leverage.
Consider what I read this morning. It really struck me how much Jesus Christ was worried about getting noticed. It is considered a prophetic passage about Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:1-5 (It’s better to read the whole passage) says:
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
There you have it. Jesus had zero concern on getting noticed. There was nothing physically that made Jesus stick out. He would not have been born handsome enough, charismatic enough or rich enough to stick out. No high society head start. So where does that put those of us who want to be like Jesus? Should it not be merely a fruit or after effect that we get noticed?
This morning I checked my motives for what I put on social media. It’s good to do once in awhile or we can be sucked into getting noticed for the wrong reasons. So when I really have nothing to say, I shouldn’t post it. Let’s make a deal…Please don’t just hit the “like” button unless any of my posts really had something in it to like. It just makes me run over to your posts to find something to like. You people are good enough so I often find a lot to like (unless you use foul language, it’s a turn off).
Let’s make getting noticed a fruit of our labors and not sacrifice who we should be. The whole world would be quite a place if we were all like Jesus.Here’s to getting noticed for all the right reasons. Cheers! (I have a ginger ale in my glass)
Note: Pictures were taken this morning on an afternoon walk. No, I’m not in Wisconsin today. It looks like a kid (?) was really missing someone, they left this painted rock by the lake.
Autumn beauty is everywhere around our neck of the woods. Stuff is dying like crazy. Beautiful fall leaves changing color are dying leaves. Most of the worker bees have been chased out of the nest and are gone even though there are still a few flowers blooming. That will end this week as temperatures will finally fall below freezing.
There is tension because this is a favorite time of the year, but winter is coming.
The air is crisp, clear, there’s nary a bug to slap and it’s time to take a moment or several and drink in some beauty before the snow comes. Now is the time to shoot some photos and marvel at natures colors, textures, shapes and smells. I took a walk around our place today just to share a few shots with you from northwest Wisconsin USA. just click on a picture and the slide show will come up. Complete with an October sunset.
Are you ready for winter? Me neither. I want to revel in the full pomp and circumstance of Autumn. Fall may just be the most imperfect time of the year. In the spring everything sprouts and buds almost perfectly. Age, sun and storms have taken their toll and yet in a metamorphosis of color their last hurrah is a repainting of the landscape in an explosion of color. Then they fall to the ground.
I said to a friend the other day after discussing 100 reasons why we love this time of year “You know..we are in the fall season of life you and I” He said quietly “yes we are and I aim to make the most of it”
And that friends is why I get up early in the morning, make some coffee, read from my Bible and pray. I have done this much of my life. I meet with God and he is there. Winter is coming all too soon in my life. I know old age is harder, it already is. I’m not ready..sigh…I’m still a worker bee. When my color fades and winter is over I will be ready for eternity.
(Header picture) Hey you like our spider? That little guy has slim pickins for bugs. The bee (two feet away) is bigger than he is so little spider may go hungry.
I do appreciate your considerate thoughts and comments.
Our dining room, kitchen and living room are all one big open space. To the west through the patio doors is a huge screened in area we call our west screen porch. We have a view and I try to share some of the things we see out the window now and then. Have a peek starting with tonight’s sunset. I’ll set it up as a slide show if you click on a picture
All seasons, animals looking in our windows or checking out the grill (see the bear in the grill picture?). All pictures were taken from the house or the front lawn.
Here’s the deal. I love nature, wild beauty, country living and all that goes with it. But, all this would be meaningless without knowing the creator. Fun, peaceful, passing beauty. Like the sunset every night it’s just a great moment in time. Ultimately meaningless except it seems to touch eternity in my soul. Enjoy this years 9/11 sunset with me. Where do your thoughts turn?
This morning I was absolutely amazed at what I saw…I pass this mornings thoughts and pictures on to you.
Last day of August 2019. It’s still dark when step out on the screen porch. My place to think, pray, meditate, read, dream and watch for all forms of wildlife.
In all the hundreds of Flowers outside the porch, I saw only one with 3 dew drops on it’s petals. I grabbed the camera.
The thought has crossed my mind often that each of us has no more significance in the universe than a dew drop. I ask God again about my significance. He answers in powerful ways sometimes…Look carefully. What do you think? Coincidence?
Could it be that We are supposed to reflect His Glory in all things? Who I am and who I am becoming? How easy would it be to miss what God is trying to show us while we are too busy asking the “why” questions like a self centered two year old?
The angle must be perfect to see a perfect full flower image in this dew drop. Do you suppose God is perfectly able to see and know me perfectly? Do you suppose he could enhance our lives so others can see a bit more than Photoshop can a picture?
Psalm 39:5 You, indeed, have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Truly each man at his best exists as but a breath. Selah (means pause and think about it).
Your comments and insights are greatly appreciated!
I must confess that 4 other bloggers aided in a roundabout way for me to spend some early morning time on the screen porch with the Lord, his word and a cup of coffee. Please take the time to check them out…from wildlife to thinking deeply and having time to meet with the Lord.
It’s not possible, you know, to fill dad’s shoes. Why do I even want to try? What drives one to be the hero and mentor someone else has attained to? If for no other reason than to retrace his steps or maybe to accomplish similar feats. I don’t know but it’s hard to just stand and grieve without making promises that parts of dad will live on through me.
Then I look at dads shoes. They are weary and worn, like his life at the end. Why it wasn’t long ago a nice young couple paid for his meal at the local burger place because they thought he looked homeless. He felt guilty nodding to them with a smile and climbing into his shiny (and expensive looking) truck and driving away.
I have a similar stride and gait in life as dads in many ways. Somewhere between integrity, work ethic, hunting, fishing, loving God and family, our paths are continually crossing. Dad’s path has taken him into eternity while I’m still bushwhacking the valleys, scooting across the ledges and climbing the mountains of life. From the looks of it, my shoes just might have some miles to go yet. I hope to make the most of that time given.
I do want to find the old tree dad often talked about deep in our hunting territory. When dad was young he knew this tree. In later years he would stop and rest awhile and say to “his” tree “how are you doing old timer”. My shoes will take me there soon just to say some last words. I know…talking to a tree? I sensed you might understand.
My oldest daughter best describes why dads shoes walked well and influenced so many people through life.When her younger sister needed medical attention for long periods of time, she spent that time with grandpa and grandma. One day when she was very young she was following grandma around and asked her “Grandma, why does grandpa sit at the table every morning with a cup of coffee and read his bible?” Grandma put her basket of laundry down, turned and grabbed her by the shoulders and said “listen…since your grandpa started doing that, he has become a changed man!!!” (insert urgent tone here)
So, I cannot , will not, don’t have to fill dads shoes. They are retired. But, I find myself following in his footsteps which not so oddly seem to be following someone who wore out their sandals.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23)
Its not often a fish is caught on the first cast. Two fish with one cast is, well, unusual and has the makings of another fish tale. This one is special as it’s one of dad’s oft fished lakes.
I was getting together with a close life long friend and we decided a boat on the lake over a crappie hole would be just fine. Taking the old boat out with an iffy motor was possibly an adventure so after it started we circled the lake and shut down for a nice drift, cast and chat down the less fished side of the lake.
First cast and bam, nice fish! got off. Wham, another hit and a tussle bigger than the usual crappie began. A very nice walleye was netted. The fish rolled up in the net and my hook swung free so I tossed it out of the way and untangled the fish. I was going to put the fish in the live-well but saw my rod going over the side of the boat. Dropping the fish I grabbed the rod and felt another fish on. Fish #2 was bigger and that’s my story. I had thrown my hook over the side of the boat into a waiting walleye.
We made several drifts, caught many small perch, another big walleye, talked about the stuff of life, dying, the future and navigating the days ahead for both of us.
My phone interrupted fishing and we had to go. Upon entering dads home I knew it was true. Dad was gone. I thought I had a little more time. This fisherman would trade all the great fishing stories in the world for some more time with dad. The reality is that life is that way. We live, work, raise a family, retire and die. Yes, I know, we fish and do lots of other stuff and it’s good. There has to be things in our lives as an aid to building deep bonds relationally. There must be ways to model faith, hope and Love.
Our family has a deep bond of love for one another. Dad and mom set out to follow God and live that way. Their kids (including me) live that way. Our kids live that way. Yes dad would have loved that fish story. I guess I’ll have to wait till I pass on to tell him.
Please click on some of my deeper thoughts and spiritual insights on dad and dying here. I wrote it last month after visiting dad knowing that time was short. Meanwhile, I will keep loving my family and fishing. In that order.