Perspective…..

As I laid in bed last night, headed towards slumber and praying my nightly prayers, I was reminded of a change of perspective I had a long time ago. You see, as a child, I would lie in bed and say my nightly prayers of thanks and concerns and soon enough it was morning and time to start a new day. It seems I would fall asleep mid-prayer. This happened routinely.

Now, for a time, this worked me all up because you shouldn’t fall asleep while you’re talking with God. It would be rude to fall asleep while talking to a friend or a co-worker, wouldn’t it? So falling asleep while talking to God seemed like not a good thing to do. However, it would happen night after night. And, for a time, I carried guilt about it.

However, one time when I confessed this to a confidante, they offered up a beautiful alternative to my view. They thought it was very touching and intimate that I would fall asleep in God’s arms each night. Just like I would fall asleep in my father’s or mother’s arms when I was younger.

And isn’t God our Father? Not just a friend or co-worker.

And I still fall asleep every night during prayers. With God holding me in His arms.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A very convicting speech…..

The video clip below is of a speech by an abortion survivor, Gianna Jessen. Her testimony is beautiful in that it is Christ focused, God centered, forgivement laced, heart felt, and not self serving. And pay special attention to her challenge towards the end.

If we could all just show the eloquence and grace with our weaknesses and frailties as she has.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A family centered quote…..

I recently stumbled across this quote and thought I had blogged about it before but, in searching through my archives, found I had not. Therefore, I am sharing with you.

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

His Story…..

Last night I took the family to the Southeast Christian Easter Pageant at church. It is playing for two weeks from March 18 to April 1. It began back in 1995 and has run every year but last year. This year the church decided to run it for one last year so I figured I had to get the family there to see it. And we had heard so many good things from so many people so when the tickets went on sale back in January, I jumped on it. They have a cast of over 200, real animals and special effects. And after all the hype and all the buildup, all I can say…..


is that it was amazing! Definitely the best play performance I have ever seen — better than any Broadway play or musical. And, of course, the topic is one that has such an impact and will change your life. Jesus and his life come alive on stage. The costumes, set, special effects, music, animals and cast take you back to Roman occupied Israel. I cannot say enough about it. There are only 8 more performances of this spectacular event and I would highly encourage you to go to the website and get your tickets before they are all sold out and you miss your chance forever.

You can even get a preview video at http://www.southeastchristian.org/?page=4311. And ticket prices for this wonderful event are such a bargain. Knowing what I know now, I would easily pay for one ticket what I paid for the whole family to see the pageant. Again, I highly encourage you to witness this marvelous performance.

You won’t be sorry.

And it doesn’t end there. The most amazing thing about this story is that it is true and happened many, many years ago. There is, indeed, a God that loves us so much that he gave his only begotten Son to die for us for the forgiveness of sins. While we don’t deserve it and didn’t earn it, all we need to do is accept Him as savior.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Flying into Japan during earthquake story…..

My Dad sent me the interesting story below from the perspective of a Delta pilot flying into Japan during the earthquake.

I’m currently still in one piece, writing from my room in the Tokyo/Narita crew hotel. It’s 8am. This is my inaugural trans-pacific trip as a brand new, recently checked out, international 767 Captain and it has been interesting, to say the least, so far. I’ve crossed the Atlantic three times so far so the ocean crossing procedures were familiar.

By the way, stunning scenery flying over the Aleutian Islands. Everything was going fine until 100 miles out from Tokyo and in the descent for arrival. The first indication of any trouble was that Japan air traffic control started putting everyone into holding patterns. At first we thought it was usual congestion on arrival. Then we got a company data link message advising about the earthquake, followed by another stating Narita airport was temporarily closed for inspection and expected to open shortly (the company is always so positive).

From our perspective things were obviously looking a little different. The Japanese controller’s anxiety level seemed quite high and he said expect “indefinite” holding time. No one would commit to a time frame on that so I got my copilot and relief pilot busy looking at divert stations and our fuel situation, which, after an ocean crossing is typically low.

It wasn’t long, maybe ten minutes, before the first pilots started requesting diversions to other airports. Air Canada, American, United, etc. all reporting minimal fuel situations. I still had enough fuel for 1.5 to 2.0 hours of holding. Needless to say, the diverts started complicating the situation.

Japan air traffic control then announced Narita was closed indefinitely due to damage. Planes immediately started requesting arrivals into Haneada, near Tokyo, a half dozen JAL and western planes got clearance in that direction but then ATC announced Hanenada had just closed. Uh oh! Now instead of just holding, we all had to start looking at more distant alternatives like Osaka, or Nagoya.

One bad thing about a large airliner is that you can’t just be-pop into any little airport. We generally need lots of runway. With more planes piling in from both east and west, all needing a place to land and several now fuel critical ATC was getting over-whelmed. In the scramble, and without waiting for my fuel to get critical, I got my flight a clearance to head for Nagoya, fuel situation still okay. So far so good. A few minutes into heading that way, I was “ordered” by ATC to reverse course. Nagoya was saturated with traffic and unable to handle more planes (read- airport full). Ditto for Osaka.

With that statement, my situation went instantly from fuel okay, to fuel minimal considering we might have to divert a much farther distance. Multiply my situation by a dozen other aircraft all in the same boat, all making demands requests and threats to ATC for clearances somewhere. Air Canada and then someone else went to “emergency” fuel situation. Planes started to heading for air force bases. The nearest to Tokyo was Yokoda AFB. I threw my hat in the ring for that initially. The answer – Yokoda closed! no more space.

By now it was a three ring circus in the cockpit, my copilot on the radios, me flying and making decisions and the relief copilot buried in the air charts trying to figure out where to go that was within range while data link messages were flying back and forth between us and company dispatch in Atlanta. I picked Misawa AFB at the north end of Honshu island. We could get there with minimal fuel remaining. ATC was happy to get rid of us so we cleared out of the maelstrom of the Tokyo region. We heard ATC try to send planes toward Sendai, a small regional airport on the coast which was later the one I think that got flooded by a tsunami.

Atlanta dispatch then sent us a message asking if we could continue to Chitose airport on the Island of Hokkaido, north of Honshu. Other Delta planes were heading that way. More scrambling in the cockpit – check weather, check charts, check fuel, okay. We could still make it and not be going into a fuel critical situation … if we had no other fuel delays. As we approached Misawa we got clearance to continue to Chitose. Critical decision thought process. Let’s see – trying to help company – plane overflies perfectly good divert airport for one farther away…wonder how that will look in the safety report, if anything goes wrong.

Suddenly ATC comes up and gives us a vector to a fix well short of Chitose and tells us to standby for holding instructions. Nightmare realized. Situation rapidly deteriorating. After initially holding near Tokyo, starting a divert to Nagoya, reversing course back to Tokyo then to re-diverting north toward Misawa, all that happy fuel reserve that I had was vaporizing fast. My subsequent conversation, paraphrased of course…., went something like this:

“Sapparo Control – Delta XX requesting immediate clearance direct to Chitose, minimum fuel, unable hold.”

“Negative Ghost-Rider, the Pattern is full” <<

I don’t think I would have been that calm.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Diabetes Awareness Day…..

Today is Diabetes Awareness Day. Below is a link to a test you can take to determine your risk for diabetes. Because of our American diets, we are at a much higher risk for this disease. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay its onset (exercise, diet). Unfortunately, many of us are so engrained into our current bad habits and are resistant to change that we won’t do anything about it.

Start now by taking the simple test — http://stopdiabetes.diabetes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SD_alert_main

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

March dates…..

I have never paid attention to it before, but there are several March dates that have some significance. I wrote about one of them here – March 4th (the only date that is a command – march forth).

This last Monday was another – Pi(e) day. It was March 14 (or 3/14) and 3.14 is the mathematical value for PI. Math geeks celebrate by eating pizza and have pie for dessert.

Today’s date is more special. I blogged about it here but I did not correlate it to a date such as March 16th. I am reposting it below because of the importance.
************************************************************
Almost all of us know the popular passage from scripture, John 3:16. — “For God so loved the world that he gaves his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Well, during one of my recent devotionals, I came across a passage from 1 John 3:16. It, too, was very impactful — “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Pretty cool, huh? Well, I thought – “I wonder how many other inspirational verses are at chapter 3 verse 16 in the other books of the New Testament”. Below are ones from my research.

MATTHEW
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God.”

MARK
“These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter)”

LUKE
“John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

ACTS
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”

ROMANS (this one doesn’t fit the 3:16 mold)
“ruin and misery mark their ways”

1 CORINTHIANS
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

2 CORINTHIANS
“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”

GALATIANS
“The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds”, meaning many people, but “and to your seed”, meaning one person, who is Christ.”

EPHESIANS
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”

PHILIPPIANS
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”

COLOSSIANS
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

1 THESSALONIANS (no 3:16)

2 THESSALONIANS
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

1 TIMOTHY
“Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

2 TIMOTHY
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

TITUS (no 3:16)

PHILEMON (no 3:16)

HEBREWS
“Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?”

JAMES
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

1 PETER
“keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”

2 PETER
“He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

1 JOHN
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

2 JOHN (no 3:16)

3 JOHN (no 3:16)

JUDE (no 3:16)

REVELATION
“So because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Winterjam observations…..

Last night we partook in our 2nd Winterjam. If you don’t know what Winterjam is, it is a Christian-alla-palooza with many different bands worshiping, celebrating and praising Jesus. We attended the Louisville Winterjam back in February and thought it was so good (and affordable) that we migrated east to Lexington Saturday for a re-do.

Our plan was to tailgate in the parking lot enjoying each other’s company along with some snacks and hot dogs. While the weather was warm enough, the occasional wind gusts would blow over any unoccupied folding chairs and basically made the tailgate effort a fail. Which turned out to be a blessing.

We gave up on the tailgate option and instead headed to Rupp Arena to get in line. And it’s a good thing we did. When we went to Freedom Hall for the Louisville Winterjam (which was on a Friday) there were a lot of people there but the line was very tolerable and not too long. At Rupp, probably because it was a Saturday, it seemed the entire Lexington community was in line. We turned this corner and saw a line of people 4-5 wide and about 1/4 mile long. Aghast, we joined it at the end.

The folks in line were friendly and in a generally upbeat mood. Church youth groups played games and others occupied their waiting time. Thankfully, they opened the doors early and we entered Rupp to stake claim to our seats.

NOTE: I much prefer Freedom Hall to Rupp. Rupp is a box. While I don’t like the navigation around Freedom Hall, every seat is a true seat, not a lame bench seat like the entire upper section at Rupp. For that reason alone, I will not go back to Rupp. After a 5 hour concert, my back hurt. And, yes, I am old. However, I did enjoy the Red show (Christian heavy metal).

One cool part of worship was when the David Crowder Band was playing “O Praise Him”. It is a wonderful worship song and everyone waved their hands in the air. I looked around and the entire arena looked like prairie grass waving in the wind of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing to see and, as so frequently happened in the past, brought tears of praise to my eyes. Below is a video of that song.

One final note of something I saw that I liked. A youth group had t-shirts made for all their kids to wear that were the same color and probably made the youth director’s job easy for control of them. However, it was the saying that go me…..

“The church has left the building…”

I thought that was a clever play on the old Elvis quote and a good reminder that the church is not a building and that our role as disciples is to be out in the world.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net