25 January 2008


One of the instructor's from our Master's in Counseling program became the victim of a horrible accident in the snowy, icy weather here in Michigan. The severity of her injuries sobers me, even though things could have been so much worse.

Here are the words of her husband describing the accident:

She was involved in a horrendous head-on collision on M57 on Tuesday morning. Another driver attempted to pass a long line of slower traffic (who were wisely traveling slower due to the weather conditions). He hit her apparently while she was attempting to brake, as most of the damage was sustained on her right leg. She had five surgeries, lasting seven hours, on Tuesday: rebuilding the leg above her right kneecap (which was also shattered in the accident and was removed); stabilizing her right ankle (which was also shattered and will be operated on in the next two weeks); placing a rod through her upper left leg, which was broken in two places; placing screws in plates in her broken left ankle; and placing rods along the two broken bones in her left arm. Yesterday we learned that her right hand is broken in at least four places, but a cast should fix most of that damage. She also has a neck brace due to at least one fracture in her neck (although it is not impacting her spinal cord). No vital organs were damaged thanks to the deployed airbags (I am grateful that my wife has better taste in cars than I do). She has been alert prior to and after her surgeries. She is scheduled to have some more surgery today to clean out the two most serious injuries. She is expected to be her at least 10 days and then will be moved to a sub-acute care facility. She will not be able to use her limbs for up to six weeks and will not be able to stand for at least three months. Even though her body is shattered in many places, I am aware it could have been much worse. Given the nature of her injuries, she has required constant attention above and beyond the excellent care she has received from the staff here at Spectrum Downtown. Even the most simple needs of life - like blowing her nose and scratching an itch - has required someone else's assistance.

I wondered about how many times I've been impatient and peered around other cars in order to pass. The reality of crashing in to another car, for the sake of gaining a few minutes on the road seems so trivial. The need for speed, or to be in a hurry doesn't compare to the severity of this type of accident. Have mercy Lord.

And please, know that ur prayers would be gladly received on behalf of Angela and Brian, too. Thanks.

24 January 2008

record time

It's back. My mac is safely home.
The timing was amazing. Bear with me as I brag.

I received a box (all cushy and protective packaging) last week when I was out of town.
Monday I called for it to be picked up.
Tuesday AM I received an email saying it had been received (in Tennessee) along with a link to check the status.
I checked the status Tuesday afternoon and it was already on the way back home.
My doorbell rang at 8:45a Wednesday ad I signed for my box.

I expect u might agree that they provided some excellent service.


The above photo? One of the lovely flowers I gazed on in CA two weeks ago. Sigh!

21 January 2008

Justice and the Kingdom of God

I'm grateful for the day off today, but I wonder if I really "get" the sacrifice made to experience such a holiday. I'm far from an expert on Martin Luther King, Jr, but I do know his heart and passion proved an invaluable voice for the future of the world, especially for people of color, but additionally, for all of us.

At class with Dallas Willard a week or so ago, he talked to us repeatedly, patiently, constantly, lovingly, about the kingdom of God. He challenged, encouraged, and admonished us to live the Kingdom of God now which includes and demands justice and mercy. I can't adequately offer his heart or his words to you, but I'll offer a few quotes.

"The Kingdom of God is the heart of everything."
"Racial discrimination is not a racial issue [it's a spiritual one]. If we approach it [as purely a racial issue] we won't solve it. We must approach it through the love and power of Jesus Christ."

We must realize we'll never
"do justice
to justice
with justice.
We must overcome with love

"Become a disciple of Jesus because you think so highly of him. You can't imagine doing anything else.
Preach Jesus!!! Put in a good word for Him

Our main task is to "help people see Jesus.
Make Jesus plain--ravishing people with the kingdom of God

Today is more than a non-work day for me. It's a day to ask, what am I willing to sacrifice for the good of all? What ways can I make the kingdom of God evident, and Jesus visible, for all people?
How am I growing more as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

and, I expect, these questions will demand more examination and consideration than this one very day. On the journey...

19 January 2008


So after being on the west coast for three+ weeks, the adjustment to "my" time zone and regular life routines challenged my sleeping and waking rhythms. I enjoyed my time in Seattle with family. I enjoyed my class (and classmates) in California.
But I missed things here, at home. Despite the 70 degree California temperatures, and the certainty of winter waiting in Michigan, I wanted home.
As u may recall, I surprised my parents coming home for Christmas. I like surprises. Part of my return to life in Michigan included a surprise. My friend Cathy offered to pick me up from the airport. But when I arrived I was greeted by not one, not two, but three lovely friends. And later that day I hung out with another friend for the rest of the day taking in the sites of Grand Rapids.
Later in the week, friends Beth and Rachel came for dinner. Being with them provokes the types of conversation that find one talking late into the night. I love those! [Although, part of the time we talked about how I ruined the vegetables for dinner. How does one ruin vegetables you might wonder? Well...I guess that's just another story. Needless to say, my vegy's would not have made it on our friend Sabrina's blog (she often displays the latest and greatest culinary works she's created or she enjoys), except perhaps in a "things to avoid when hosting dinner guests" log.]

And currently, I'm hanging out with some other friends...just for a spell up in sunny, sparkling, frozen wonderland Branch, Michigan. Good food, laughter, intentional and frivolous conversations, and the overall blessing of community makes me realize why it's a privilege to call Michigan home! What better way to "re-enter" life than in the company of friends?

15 January 2008


I'm back home!! Hooray! But, I'm Mac-less.
U pc owners may groan, but it's not a status I enjoy.
One should not be without their Mac.

That said, it really couldn't have happened at a better time.
I can finish up my papers (er, start) on my work computer.
There is plenty of time for Apple to fix, repair and/or replace my lil Mac.
And, well, I've picked up some additional hours per week at work, so I need to get into a new routine. Of working more. (Who has time to work more?)
So I don't have much time for my computer.
But my budget is rejoicing (or I'm rejoicing, whatever).

It's good news.
Unfortunately, there's some not as good news.
It's 99% likely they won't recover my photos.
I'm every shade of sad.

Which will also affect the look of this blog for a wee while...

But let's stay in the rejoicing mode as there is MUCH to be thankful for!

08 January 2008

virtual community

These are some of my new friends. I've remembered that when I looked into this master's program, I wondered how an online program in spiritual formation could really work. One of the things I appreciated was the hybrid aspect--we meet face to face once a year (hence this time in CA), we meet with a spiritual director, we must plan and engage in three retreats a year, etc.
And here's what i'm concluding: God wants us to grow in community. He loves when we participate actively in our spiritual formation. He is not bound or confined by technology. And so He is blessing this program like crazy.
I couldn't wait to see my classmates (some who I didn't meet last year). And they are blessing me beyond measure. (It is a challenge to measure spiritual formation afterall.)
And I can't imagine it any other way.

In other less positive news, my computer crashed today. This was after I talked with one of my classmates yesterday about computers. She mentioned she was interested in a Macbook. I raved about mine. And said something like, "oh, and, Macs don't crash. You don't get those nasty bluescreen errors."
And you don't. You get a folder with a blinking question mark screen.
It's nightmarish.
And so I'm packing my trusty sidekick and sending it to Apple's fabulous techies...hoping they can rescue my 7000+ photos among other things. And praising God that I don't start my regular routine of classes again until February 4.
And thanking God for Hildred's advice to get Applecare!! :-)

03 January 2008

California Dreamin'

This blog may sit dormant for a wee while. I'm off to CA for class these next eight days for my (otherewise all online) Master's program.
Of course, I'll drop by if I'm able...but we're at a retreat center...and I'm meeting some of my dear classmates from around the world for the first time...and I'll have papers to write and books to read and class sessions to attend (not necessarily in that order)...and I'll be around people all the time, did I mention that?
I'll definitely have tons to reflect and blog about,
but likely, I won't have the time.

Take good care all.
Bye for now...

02 January 2008

Too glorious to capture

The completion of 2007 here in Seattle could not have been more fabulous.
For you who may have never viewed this fair city,
nothing really compares on a sunny day
when the mountains frame all directions
and the sunlight dances on the various bodies of water.
It is stunning and brilliant.
In keeping with the waiting of advent, I'd been longing for such views. Monday offered such a day.
Sadly, my lil' camera can't do the scenes justice...but I persisted none the less.
In late morning, Jenni and I chased the sun to Golden Gardens where half the city gathered to enjoy the day's beauty. The mountains did not disappoint. Sea birds frolicked in the water. Various boats sprinkled the water's horizon. Chunks of wood served as lures for spritely dogs to splash and capture.
Part of the day included chasing the mountains. By this I mean, driving to find a spot where I might possibly photograph the beauty of Mount Rainier. So we drove to the heights and around corners attempting to escape the concrete of the city to fully glimpse and perhaps capture the view.
Partially through these moments, some hunger pains struck. I asked my sister if she had any food in her car and was excited when without hesitation she said yes and reached into the back seat. The excitement disappeared completely, however, when I viewed the bag of cheetos she triumphantly offered me.
"That's not food," I said.
She quickly countered, "it is for me!"
So we agreed to disagree, cheetos rejected (by me), and moved contentedly (albeit still somewhat hungrily) along for more mountain views.

We picked up Jonathan and Amara, my nephew and niece who were married in August, to enjoy their company and the real food my stomach craved. I was not disappointed!

I don't have photos to recount the close of New Year's Eve. But it was fantastic, too, as Jenni and I headed downtown Seattle to take in the sights and sounds of the Seattle Symphony and Beethoven's ninth.
(The song "Ode to Joy" comes from this Symphony.) It was a metropolitan-feeling year end and a definite treat to enjoy music as a worshipful end to the year.

Thank you God for your beauty in the heights and the depths,
in the melodies and harmonies,
in the crowds and on the beaches,
in our homes and with our families.
May 2008 be a year of your glory God!