Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Arrival

What’s arrived you ask?  Well for sure my wife’s birthday arrived this week.  I think of the life I’ve had since she came into my life and realize that I can’t imagine life without her at all.  I now realize I’ve known Lovely for about half my life and the children …now two of them are teen agers…are also such amazing people.  My life has never been dull especially since leaving high school and entering the mission field at eighteen.  Still, as blessed as such things has made me I can say that experiencing these things with my family is for sure the richest blessing ever.  Now today something arrived…spring, spring feels as though it’s here at long last.  I see several days ahead in the high sixties…even some seventies!  I’m thrilled to see it!  Our walks now present us with sights such as Daffodils showing their amazing yellow petals and antelope battling to rule their harems.  Robins aren’t as plentiful as they some times are but they are here along with Western Meadow Larks who have the sweetest songs ever.  This is a very welcome arrival indeed! 


I’m nearly finished with my old picture display.  I have really enjoyed revisiting the days gone by.  Today we start with a picture overlooking the city of Mysore from the hill on which the Temple of the Bull rests025.  I always like going to higher elevations in tropical countries…the breeze absent from below is a welcome relief in these places!  Below the stifling sauna-like heat from the rains evaporation is about more then a mountain raised Western raised American can handle026 .  I love seeing sights like the last Maharajah’s palace because its history is older then I can even begin to imagine.  The view from the palace is really a sight to behold as well027.  Looking back I remember what It’s like to go to individual shops for everything whether that be fruit028or various vessels to be used for about everything under the hot Indian sun029.  It was a long way from hopping on over to Walmart to get it all done in one shot!  There wasn’t often much leisure time but when there was seeing some ancient place from the cart behind a horse was amazing030.  India abounds with temples both old and new031.  You can never tell what hidden spot might beckon your curious eyes from a grand archway032.  What palace, temple or Mosque will greet your glance around the next bend033?  Being with those that are not careful to respect local traditions can get one into trouble fast.  We had a very Hindu helper watching the children of the family I was with at the time.  They allowed the children to urinate on the Mosque grounds034.  The locals of course grew very angry.  It made me glad this was pre-9/11 because I was about as obviously American as you could ever be035.  This trip brought us to a cooler climate and new view which I really appreciated036.  One such view was of what they told me was the second largest dome in the world037…the first may have been on top of Pastor Samuel’s head…but I digress.  This shot of the Temple of the Bull shows the spectacular stone work that you can find in India038.  Rhajan was our driver and he could drive about anything he was allowed get inside039.  I have tried motor cycle in India traffic…it’s a harrowing thing!  I think I’ll let him drive me instead thank you very much!  Fresh fish is something that I learned to appreciate in India040.  Visiting the zoo and petting…yes, really petting the Rhinos was a thing I’ll never forget041…what do they feel like?  Concrete!  We also went on a tiger safari…what a magnificent animal042!  After that we would often cook up the catch of the day over a campfire043…I loved that!  Other times we would visit a family and have a far more formal dinner044.  I think I prefer the simpler dinners…I’m a Montanan after all.  Next we’ll see some more of my elephant trek pictures and some of the Golden Triangle.  Bless you all, may the rest of your week be mightily blessed!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bitter Taste of Poison

I don’t know about you but the trouble here in this country over the last couple days was more than enough for a lifetime.  I’ve never seen times so troubled.  I wish I could offer some salve to help people but mostly what I have to offer is my faith and prayers.  The different steps to dealing with this as a nation are tough to go through.  It’s a myriad of feelings that go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Being patient with one another and trying to remain kind when the politics and news is scratching at our door with rumor after rumor isn’t easy.  May there be extraordinary grace for this extraordinarily difficult time.  God bless America. 

Digging through my archives again I see through a window to a kinder and gentler time001.  I used to love dressing up in my Dad’s fire gear.  Yes, that was me putting on my Dad’s stuff that he wore when working with the fire crew at the refinery.  It makes me lighter to see these pictures!  My dear brother Joseph lifting his hands for the shear blessing of a beautiful day on the Ghanaian coast002 or this wonderful house in Zurich, Switzerland where we had a layover before returning home to America003.  The pleasant Swiss garden as we walked was such a joy to see…both then and now004.  I remember one year we were in London waiting for our flight onward to India when a huge snow storm hit005.  If I remember right our flight was delayed three days at least006.  The best times I’ve ever had in my life were working in this nation and others doing good wherever I could007.  Working with children in India was a common thing when I lived there008.  One memory wasn’t so pleasant:  hours spent on hard floors in hot little churches009.  There were chairs but it seemed I spent a lot of time on thin mats on cement floors.  Here we were coordinating a coming church event010.  These young men were good friends.  I felt like I poured out my heart and soul to them011…that’s the pastor and his wife next to me…I still wonder what’s become of them.  My Mom did a good job wearing local clothes…here she is at the church we were working with012.  India had some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen013.  Sadly when I visited these I was terribly ill with dysentery014 .  Once I was on a beach closer to home when this family asked me to take their picture…good looking family if you ask me015.  Here we are in front of Pastor Samuel’s house…boy did we look white016.  This is me and Samuel’s associate pastor Charles017.  How many hours we spent driving all over India in this van I cannot say018.  Going out we would often see these shacks near where some road work was being done…temporary worker huts019?  What always surprised me was how the weather could go from downpour to dry at the drop of a hat020.  I have seen some real floods before and it didn’t always just seem content to stay in large puddles021.  One day we went out to a bird sanctuary where birds from all over the world frequent022…it was a very peaceful place.  Another amazing place had a stone they called the “butter stone”023…it was said Krishna dropped some butter and it has become a stone that is immoveable.  Many have tried to move it without success…I have to say it made me somewhat nervous being near it.  Last one is the place where people were getting salt from the ocean…something I’d never seen before024.  Stay strong my friends.  It’s never dark as it appears.  Blessings to you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Unwelcome Visit

It’s always nice to have an unexpected pleasant surprise or a visit from a friend but this visit was from neither of those.  It was a visit from winter…remember himDSC02366?  We’ve been so incredibly spoiled this year really.  I remember a few years ago we had brutal cold as well as snow and a below average temperature almost all summer long.  This year looks to follow the trend of last year that was very warm and oh so dry but I’ve been wrong about such prediction before.  This storm brought change quickly and left us still quite coolDSC02367.  Better than the tornadoes of Michigan…I can’t complain…yet I still kind of am aren’t I? 

Again I find myself going through the archives remembering days gone by…Africa029…a place where I have never been cold nor given the cold shoulder030.  My trips to Ghana were life changing experiences031.  I was forced to see cultures far different then my own032.  It forced me to reach out to a people unlike any I’d ever seen before033.  Meeting some of the greatest men of God I’d ever met in my life was an exquisite privilege034 .  Walking on foreign shores forever changed how I see the world in which we live035.  Seeing people here be so devoted to God was an inspiration to me036.  Visiting this Portuguese castle where slaves were shipped out all over the world shook me to the core037 yet the hope of my pigmented brother (though he insists I’m the pigmented one) to this day blows me away038.  The blossoms of Ghanaian plants are nothing to the bloom of inspiration this nation still brings to me039.  Dear pastor Harry whom God brought into our lives made such a difference to us all040.  Now these roads have been well traveled041…I’m not even sure if the houses I saw then are still there042…some of those I knew then are now gone043.  Those that protected our lives with their own044are now gone…I don’t know where.  Remembering the smoldering flames of slash and burn farming045I think the structure of faith built is still under construction much like these buildings046but as these children…it will grown each day047and Ghana had a huge part in who I am today048.  I can’t forget…each memory is a stone to the house God is building in me049.  Each place adding some mortar to this house050.  I can never repay what I owe Ghana052.  But I will do my best to take what I’ve learned to make this world a better place wherever I can.  This last photo still makes me smile.  I’d never seen a man play a saw before until I went to Ghana…how strange is that?  Here is a man doing just that while my dear Bros Joseph looks on while drinking a Coke053.  Yeah, I’m smiling!