Duration vs. time.….

Today a friend of mine celebrated his 47th birthday. I met him when I was a freshman in high school so we are going on 3 decades of knowing each other. However, in spite of our high school, college, and post college lives together, I realized I don’t really know him as well as one would think. You see, our lives started to diverge when I got married and started to focus on my family. Sure, we’d see each other a few times a year, but it was mostly just to catch up — we didn’t do any additional “road building” in our relationship. And then he got married and started to focus on his family. And then we moved to Kentucky which leaves us lucky to see each other once every few years or so. Yes, there is Facebook and email and phone and text. But it does not replace time together. And the three decades of duration do not matter if there is no time together.

Which got me thinking — while we are the most connected society in the history of the world, do we really “know” each other?

And while I value this friend, he is not one of my priorities (posted about here in Friday’s post). What would trouble me is if one of my priorities — God, my wife, my kids — ended up with a duration relationship without the time together. I am sure that has happened to some families and people are moms, dads, and kids by label only.

I don’t want to be a label. I WILL NOT be a label.

So therefore, I will not only define my priorities, I will love and invest myself in them. And that requires A Slower Pace.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

These make me cry.….

Yes, I am a fully grown, red-blooded, American male, but seeing all of these military guys surprisingly reuniting with their loved ones brings tears to my eyes — especially the ones with children.

Brought to you by Kleenex.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Rules for manly men.….

I saw the snippet below during my cardio workout this morning. It was a news highlight of a new book by Darrin Patrick — “The Dude’s Guide to Manhood”, with a forward by Duck Dynasty men.

While I haven’t read it, he hits on some pretty good observations.

  • It’s not a personality thing, but more of a character thing.
  • A real man can be tough and tender.
  • Be a family man.
  • Be a coachable man.
  • Be a connected man. Have true friends. A friend should act like a good surgeon — he cuts, but he cuts to heal.
  • Be a fighting man — fight for character. Fight the right fight.

Video link here — http://video.foxnews.com/v/3005167149001/rules-for-manly-men/

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

9 years…..

Today our family celebrates 9 years in Kentucky. On this date back in 2004, we closed on our property, moved in to our house, and proceeded to make a house a home. Much has transpired — as tends to happen over the better part of a decade — and we continue to soak up God’s blessings.

That seems like such a long time ago.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Einstein’s riddle…..

Albert Einstein wrote a riddle that he said only 2% of the world could solve. It is not hard; you just need to pay attention and be patient.

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: Who owns the fish?

Hints:

  • The Brit lives in the red house.
  • The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
  • The Dane drinks tea.
  • The green house is on the left of the white house.
  • The green homeowner drinks coffee.
  • The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
  • The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
  • The man living in the center house drinks milk.
  • The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  • The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
  • The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
  • The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.
  • The German smokes Prince.
  • The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
  • The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

Ready, Go!

The kids and I did this after dinner. It took awhile but we logically worked through it. Very clever.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

    Summer night sky…..

    We just came back in from stargazing this evening. Our local weatherman happened to put out some information about sighting the International Space Station several times this weekend and the first opportunity was 14 minutes away. I put down my laptop, called out to my son and we grabbed spots on the hammock out front.

    It was a beautiful night to be gazing above at God’s majesty. The temps were Goldilocks pleasant — not too hot and not too cold. The sky was moonless and cloudless allowing the sparkling lights to come alive in the night sky. Soon enough, while we were waiting, we spotted a satellite slowly and methodically aiming across the night sky. My son spotted a shooting star but it was gone before I could move my head that direction.

    And then it appeared. The ISS first looked like any other star but was low in the northwest sky plodding upward. Its brightness intensified as it climbed. At 45-60 degrees angle above it was the brightest thing in the night sky and was beautifully silent as it aimed for our house and our viewing spot. At its pinnacle in height and brightness a nearby shooting star careening east punctuated our experience. And this shooting start was long enough for my son to see it, say it, me to turn my head, see it, and then it lasted another two seconds as we both watched it burn out and fade away. Right after the ISS faded away to the southeast, a satellite faintly trekked across the path just laid by the ISS. Interestingly, a hand’s width behind that satellite was another satellite on the same course — like it was chasing it only to never catch it. It reminded me of several years ago where we watched the ISS and the space shuttle prepare for docking. The first night they were a sky’s width away from each other but the second night they were like a dog and cat chasing across the night sky. Very cool and very memorable.

    This was another one of those times. It made for a great impromptu summery star night.

    …..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

    Proverbs 31…..

    The image below is a snippet from a text I received from my wife last week while traveling. I am indeed blessed.

    “A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
    Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
    She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.” — Proverbs 31:10-12

    …..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

    Hidden in plain sight…..

    The other evening after arriving at my business hotel I set out to explore a local park I saw and walk its trails. It was close to where I was staying and offered manicured lawns, several duck and geese filled ponds, trees, and meandering footpaths amongst the flowing creek and watershed. Part way through I took advantage of some benches that afforded a beautiful view of the polished scenery. I rested a while and soaked up the mild evening as the sun departed in the west thanking God for a beautiful day and safe travels.

    That evening walk became the template for each morning now. At dawn I strike out from my temporary abode and proceed to put in a few miles of walking throughout that beautiful park. It helps that my body is still on east coast time and I have been getting up at the crack of dawn without my alarm. I guess that is sleeping in on the east coast but never-the-less it gets me up and an early start on the west coast.

    While walking, I decided to pull out my phone and see if there were any geocaches in the park. If you don’t know what geocaches are, they are a modern day equivalent to mini-treasure hunts. With the advent of the GPS – global positioning system – and accurate coordinates, a concept was created for people to locate and hide small caches of various sizes and mark them using GPS coordinates. These caches are then uploaded to the web site GEOCACHING.COM where anyone can go, write down the coordinates and head out on their own mini-treasure hunt. There are also phone apps that use the triangulation coordinates in the phone to hunt for geocaches as well. The geocaches can range in size from very small micro hides (think camouflaged 35mm containers) that contain nothing but a signature log to large ammo cans that hold little trinkets and things along with the signature log. A person takes the geocaching.com coordinate information or their phone app and zeros in on the location of where the geocache is hidden. Frequently in the app or website there are also hints and you search within the GPS measure of accuracy zone looking for the concealed cache. I have found many and the methods, containers, and locations of hides has been clever and interesting. The caches are not only fun to find (once you find them) but they also get you out of the house and out to a place you normally wouldn’t see in your daily life. For my family, it has become a fun, inexpensive way to have fun, get out and spend time together. Some areas – parks, hiking trails, etc – have several scattered about. There also might be some hidden in the plain sight of day. In fact, you might pass by several every day and not even know it.

    Which leads me to my introductory paragraph. That evening I went out walking and sat at that bench to enjoy the view, I was sitting on a geocache. Now, of course I did not know it at the time, but had I pulled my geocaching app out, it would have revealed one right there. Instead I had to wait until the next day when I searched for ones in that park. The geocache had been very cleverly constructed in that it was built to be integrated into the bench. The bench was made of hollow tubing and had caps at the ends. One of the caps had been removed and affixed to a tube with a cover at each end. That tube could then be slid into the bench with only the normal cap showing. I was very impressed and the method caused me many more minutes of searching than I normally spend.

    I encourage you to try out this modern day treasure hunt, especially if you have kids. They love the adventure and the challenge of finding “treasure”. It is also fun for adults too. All you need is a GPS, smart phone or navigation device. Check out this guide to get started — http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx

    Have fun and be safe,
    …..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

    A humbling birthday present…..

    This was my wife’s Facebook post to me this morning. I am so blessed.

    I think the best gift I can give anyone is prayer and since I have no money to buy you that scope you want I am going to (as soon as I am done typing this) go into my peaceful spot and pray for you.
    So this is my bday gift to you:

    That you walk humbly with God.
    That you continue to grow spiritually.
    That you be a Disciple and share the gospel.
    That you do His will.
    That God protect your heart from sinful nature.
    That the words you speak build and encourage your family and friends and especially strangers.
    That God bless your friendships.
    That you be healthy and honor your body.
    That you be a man of peace and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
    That you always be a man of courage and protect us from evil.
    That you be prayerful and ask God for direction, guidance and discernment.
    That you always have a servants heart.
    That you always put God first, before me or the kids.
    That God be glorified in all the ways you serve Him.

    And I will praise God for the man that you are, for your hard work that provides for our family, for your extrovert personality that brings me out of my shell, for blessing our marriage and for putting you in my life. You are my Boaz. I love you and dang you look good for being “29″! Happy Birthday!

    …..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

    Guilty as charged…..

    My wife sent this to my work email this morning. It cracked me up but also touched my heart.

    Conversation last night in the car:

    D: Mom I am going to be a police officer when I grow up, is that OK?
    Me: Whatever you want.
    D: I am asking because of dad.
    Me: Dad will want you to follow your dreams.
    D: But it’s going to be really really awkward when I am giving him a ticket for speeding, like 20 minutes of awkward.
    Me: Then maybe you show show him some grace.
    D: No mom I want him to slow down because I love him.

    I guess I need to slow down. Not because my son might one day give me a ticket, but because he loves me and is concerned. That should be enough motivation for anyone.

    Now, what in your world do you need to stop doing? Because Jesus loves YOU and He is concerned.

    …..Dan at aslowerpace dot net