Archive for November, 2012

The quote below was from my morning email devotional by Max Lucado.

“Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer.”

I hope that this Thanksgiving weekend you can find time in your schedule and room in your heart to worship Jesus.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” — Proverbs 15:15

“Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance – the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen” — Thomas Carlyle

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This morning I woke up and as I focused into consciousness and began my day, I was overwhelmed by a question I had never asked myself — when was the last time I held my kids?

Kind of a weird thing to think about at 5:30am in the morning. Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you have little kids, it might not seem like such a big deal question. But if your kids are grown or growing up and are beyond the holding stage, it might be interesting to think back on it.

A sense of melancholy ebbed into my soul as I realized that my time of holding my kids had past — they are ages 19, 14 and 12 — however, I did not cement into my mind the last time of holding each one of them. Those last holding moments now evaporated, I was a bit sad knowing that all my kid holding opportunities were gone, hopefully either sealed in my memory or captured in precious pictures. But, as with many of you, none of us knew exactly when the last time we held our kids would be. I can only be thankful that the ceasing of kid holding was a result of them growing up into adolescents, teenagers and young adults — not the ripping of a child through death (which is my ONLY fear in this world).

The thought was interesting because it started me down memory lane back to when the kids were holdable — either as babies, infants, toddlers or energetic children. I remember times of immense comfort knowing that someone so innocent of the world relied upon me for everything. The unconditional love an infant or young child gives you can make anything at work, on the news, or troubling your mind instantly disappear. The times I was accosted upon returning home from work after a long day as if I was king — although I don’t think kings get tackled with little arms of love…..and it is their loss. And the precious times of quiet sleep as my flesh and blood rested in my arms peacefully.

As a young dad, there were times when I made the concerted effort to be the last to let go, either when hugging or when holding. The kids didn’t know it but I would deliberately not let go if hugging or not move when holding. Only when THEY were done did I let go or move. That led to blessings of multi-minute hugs and holds measured in quarter, half and full hours instead of mere minutes. And although I did that consciously to ensure I received my share of dad-love, I now look back and wish I had done it more. You always want more of what you can’t have.

So for those of you who have babies, infants, toddlers, or young children, I implore, beg, and plead that you hold and hug your offspring every chance you get. I promise you that it will not be time or effort wasted. I also promise you, as someone farther down the same path you are on, that someday there will come a time where you will have your last child hold…..and POOF, it will be gone.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Postscript — I went up to my son’s room tonight with the special intent of holding him. He is 12 so it isn’t a normal thing. However, he is sick right now so he welcomed my intrusion. But… is not the same. While I enjoyed it, the thought of his little body (or either of my daughter’s) in my lap is a comfort I can only enjoy by memory.

Today was quite special because God painted both ends of the sky. Below are pictures I took during breakfast and upon arriving home. His painted sky masterpiece put exclamation points at the beginning and end of my day. How marvelously beautiful is our God creator!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

As someone who regularly helps out feeding those in need, the news that NY mayor-dictator Doomberg is outlawing any surplus food (bagels, donuts, soup, etc) to homeless shelters is outrageous, maddening, and just ludicrous.

Click here to read nanny government out of control.

This is potentially just a preview. Get used to it if our nanny government increases its power in an attempt to “take care” of people which is just cover-speak for controlling subjects.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This morning I followed my normal early Friday morning routine with a trip to Wayside Christian Mission to serve breakfast to those in need followed by a prayer vigil outside our local abortion center. When I arrived at Wayside, I was greeted by my friend John who has served faithfully down there every Tuesday and Friday mornings for several years now. He is a retired pediatrician and keeps himself busy with volunteer and service efforts when he isn’t sailing or teaching sailing. He is a regular fixture on the Ohio in his sailboat and he loves the Spring, Summer and Fall when he can get out on the water.

While normally John and I are busy serving and such, we had lots of time to chat because we were joined by a dozen additional volunteers from U of L (University of Louisville for those readers not local). That pretty much put John and me out of business so we caught up on things. After family and recent event download John had a church finance meeting to get to and I decided I could go early to pray so we let the U of L volunteers take it from there.

Because I had to pick up our 4 wheelers after work, I had driven in my wife’s truck along with my double axle trailer. That made navigating in downtown Louisville a bit challenging but I was able to manage. One modification I did have to make was that I parked at the very end of the block from the abortion center and walked from there.

There were about 10 of us there and we outnumbered the clinic “escorts”. I chatted with my regular friends and gave some warm hugs to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ before starting my prayers. Which I have determined is my role there. While some of our volunteers “co-escort” those headed inside the clinic speaking words of truth and getting them to read some literature and consider alternatives in the “A Woman’s Choice” center next door (free ultrasound, abortion counseling, adoption assistance, etc), other volunteers pray and hold vigil. There was even a street preacher there who brought his little step stool soap box and proceeded to loudly proclaim the truth. I got me thinking about the various gifts of the Holy Spirit right there in front of that evil place. The street preacher boldly proclaimed the truth of God’s word. And while many mainline Christians are uncomfortable with that, especially as it relates to some of the damning verses in Scripture, the man was not speaking anything that was untrue. We ARE burdened with sin, we CANNOT save ourselves, and Jesus is our ONLY answer for true salvation. Other volunteers are bold in action walking along those who have come to end their baby’s life. They let them know of a heartbeat at 18 days. Of little hands and feet with unique fingerprints. Of risks of increased breast cancer, potential sterilization, and increased suicide. They also lovingly inform them of alternatives next door — free ultrasound, abortion counseling, adoption assistance — because, interestingly, the only “choice” behind the abortion center doors is death. Women don’t go in there to select from a host of various outcomes. The only option through those doors is death for the fetus…..and that doesn’t sound like “choice” to me. And then finally, there are those of us who silently pray and hold vigils. Several others are like me and only come down to pray. That is our only role. Others may preach, others may inform, others may convince, but I am down there to faithfully pray. And encourage my other brothers and sisters in Christ who are faithfully performing their roles and using their gifts. And I am glad that this was revealed to me because sometimes I will be praying there in front of the baby holocaust factory wondering why God doesn’t do anything against this evil. I wonder why aren’t my prayers effective. I wonder why can’t the lost, pregnant women see the hurt, pain and evil that they and their child will encounter behind the tinted doors. But then I realize that my God who can move mountains and who created everything DOES have a plan. I don’t need to know it; I just know that I have been called to be a small part of it. And my role is to pray and to encourage, so that is what I will do.

An interesting development also occurred as I was leaving Friday. A while ago I found out that the only male clinic escort — a guy about 55 years old — is named Conrad. For the last year I have been politely saying “Good morning” to him. If he is alone walking by, he will quietly and sheepishly say “good morning” back to me. He will not do this with anyone else around, but it is a nice olive branch so I always enjoy seeing him.

Well, this morning he and I had our clandestine “good morning”. But later when I was ready to leave to go to work, I noticed that he was walking down towards the end of the block looking for arrivers to escort. I figured my time was up and I was parked down that way anyway, so I followed him hoping to get in a “have a nice day”. He ended up going past my truck so I missed my opportunity….. or so I though. I jumped in the truck, started it, and rolled down the window because I saw he was headed back. I went to say “have a nice day” when he totally surprised me and came up to the passenger door. He asked if I had a landscaping business and what the trailer was for. I explained I had a farm and was picking up our 4 wheelers. He proceeded to say that he hunts deer — which started a 5 minute conversation of this weekend’s opening for modern gun. WOW! I could not believe we were able to talk about something in common for 5 minutes.

Soon enough he had to get back to the other workers before they declared him missing in action or collaborating with the enemy. But as I drove away, I gave all glory and thanks to God who gave me something in common and a potential future bridge with someone who an hour earlier was not someone on my list as seeing the light of Christ.

It is my hope that I can minister to Conrad so that he can see the love and light of Jesus. How that exactly is going to happen, I don’t know. But all I need to do is be faithful and show up every week. The Holy Spirit can then use me as He sees fit.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Tonight I was blessed enough to take my bride to an anniversary dinner in celebration of our elopement many, many years ago. I was going to meet her at our inexpensive restaurant of choice after work but we had some errands to do afterwards and we didn’t want two vehicles so I decided to come home and chauffeur her. I departed work a bit early and headed home for our date night. This would turn out to be fortuitous.

On our way down our long, two lane country road we started to hit some of the returning home traffic. I slowed down for a white truck that merged in front of me which also turned out to be fortuitous. Seconds later there was an oncoming Ford truck headed straight for the white truck in front of me in our lane. The white truck slowed way down and immediately dove for the small shoulder while also avoiding the ditch. I figured out what was going on and followed suit honking my horn while my wife gasped and grabbed the “oh $%!t” handle. The Ford truck veered back across the lane narrowly missing the white truck and us. I watched him as he passed us and the old man had a phone in his hand. I thought it odd that he was so focused on texting this far into our lane. I found it odder when he sideswiped a sign pole shattering his passenger mirror and ripping it from the truck. His truck came to rest hitting another sign post.

The white truck temporarily stopped, assessed the non-damage he had, and then proceeded on. I was in the same frame of mind thinking the Ford truck was just a very rude and distracted texting driver. However, the truck just stayed against the road sign on the side of the road which prompted me to dodge oncoming traffic and turn around to make sure the man was ok.

My wife remaining in our truck as I pulled up behind and turned on the hazards. I approached cautiously and was happy the driver’s window was halfway down. The old man did indeed have his phone in his hand and he was just gazing at it. I asked if he was ok and he replied with “What’s going on?”. It was at that point I realized that I had a situation on my hands. I quickly assessed the environment. Other than being on the side of the country road, there was no hazardous damage; no bleeding of the man; and no smoke, fire or liquids. And while there were some cars passing by, no one seemed to be interested in what was going on. I pulled out my phone and immediately dialed 911.

I let the helpful operator know I had a non-injury vehicle event with a medical situation. I found out the man’s name was Bob. He was very disoriented and incoherent but did know his name and age. I relayed that to the operator along with my physical location – which I was very surprised that she pretty much already knew based on my cellphone signal. (She had it down to a 100 yards.) She was dispatching EMS and I told her that I would stay with him until they arrived. She then gave me additional medical information in case his condition worsened.

Thank God that the fire station down the street responded in about 2 minutes. I had moved over to the passenger side window and secured the keys to his vehicle while keeping him calm and talking to him. I asked if he knew Jesus and, interestingly, he responded alertly with a resounding “Yes”. I comforted him and let him know that I and others would pray for him.

The fire truck pulled up right beside his truck blocking the eastbound lane. I updated the concerned firemen on the situation who immediately went to putting their skills to use. I handed the keys to one of them who also thanked me for stopping to render aid to the man. He confirmed that he was in a diabetic shock which mimics alcohol impaired behavior. I was happy that the old man was in good hands and took the fireman up on his offer to block traffic so I could get out onto the road and continue my evening with my bride.

I write this for several reasons. One is to seek prayers for Bob who I hope is recovering from his diabetic shock in the hospital. Another reason is to be an encouragement for others to get involved in situations that might not be what they seem. We should all be on the lookout for opportunities to help others who could use our help. So often the easy thing to do is just continue on with our lives or to let momentum keep us moving forward. Sometimes we must veer, turn around, or step outside our paths to offer aid to someone. The easy thing is to do nothing. I challenge those reading this to do the hard thing and get outside of yourself and get involved.

An additional reason for writing this is to highlight God in action. Now many of you might dismiss the facts that I am going to highlight as mere happenstance. However, my faith tells me otherwise. (Remember a popular faith quote – “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous”.)

Originally, I was going to meet my wife at the restaurant and neither one of us would have been near that area. Even once we were on the same path, the white truck merged in front of us seconds before that event which most likely saved an impact at that site. And while the white truck and others who passed by witnessing the event continued on, the Ford truck resting against the road sign caused me enough pause to think that something was not right and to turn around to check. Had I not done that, the way the Ford truck was on the side of the road made it look like he was just sitting there waiting for someone and others might not have even stopped for quite a while on that quiet country road. That is a very dangerous situation when someone is in a diabetic shock.

So get out there and get involved. Be alert in your day to day life. Everything might not be as it seems. All it takes is for you to get out of yourself and love your neighbor. You just might make someone’s day. You just might save someone’s life.

Happy Anniversary Mrs. A Slowerpace!!!!! Thanks for being with me during our adventure.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net