Archive for June, 2006

A few thoughts about marriage

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

I once heard a coworker tell me he never suffered a cold. The next week he was out for three days with one. Things work that way.

My wife and I share a running joke about celebrity couples. As soon as they show up on the cover of some women’s magazine giving marriage advice, they are falling in the shadow of an attorney’s door. This proves to be true most of the time.

That being the case, I don’t give marriage advice.  If you want to get advice on marriage go ask a white haired couple. They know seem to know what their talking about. I really don’t.

My own marriage has been far from perfect. Our problems have been far from small. If we didn’t love each other so much, we would have given up a long time ago.

I recall the words of a counselor that gave us some pastoral care a few years ago. He told me, “Boy, you two really love each other. That is the only thing that is going to get you through this. Statistically you are headed for divorce. But, you really love each other. Boy, you two are going to do alright.”

I think he is right. The problem I see with a bunch of folks is that they don’t love each other. They just settle for each other. Then when somebody changes, the situation is no longer what they settled for. You can’t make somebody love you. And you can’t love somebody for who their not.

The preacher started a series Sunday. He calls it, “Desperate Households.” He of course referred to the statistics that show marriage to be in trouble in America. There is no difference in the divorce rate between folks that do and don’t worship regularly. He shared some good ideas about why this is. He stated that we are tired, flawed people who neglect each other and have false expectations. I figure that about sums it up.

The preacher also offered up some scripture that really speaks volumes about why marriage is important. Consider Ecclesiastes 5:7-12.

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:

8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up! But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But, how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

One last thing the preacher said struck me. He said when he counsels folks, he makes them move from opposite sides of the table to the same side. He says folks need to know that these problems can’t stay between them. The problems are from outside of them. I think couples need to slay our individual giants as a team. Otherwise, we will just keep flinging rocks at each other.

Jerome

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Some places on the road really surprise you. Jerome is an old copper mining town. It also became a spot for hippies to hang out. At first it was just a spot on the map to me. Then I saw it off the map. The town sits on the side of Cleopatra Hill. It is interesting to say the least.

I saw a few Model A Fords. These are a favorite. My fathers fist car is a 1931 Town Sedan. He still owns it. I took this picture just for him. Either of us would arm wrestle a pro ball player to get this 1930 pickup.

I should feel right at home in Jerome. I’m not the only fella there wearing a big white hat. And apparently I own an ice-cream shop there.

Privacy

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Fences are taller than they used to be. Most backyards in my town have huge photinias blocking the view. Our houses are larger and we spend more time in them than people used to. People will spend a lot of money to move to a secluded location.

We like to keep to ourselves. We want our privacy. We feel entitled to it. We want our time alone. We want to keep our secrets.

So, is privacy our right? Always? In certain circumstances?

How much privacy can we expect?

Sometimes I think privacy is a commodity. We are definitely willing to pay for it.

Privacy seems to be neither good nor evil. It all comes down to what we do with it.

Sometimes privacy is a right. Sometimes it is an excuse to keep sins from the light of truth. Either way, I am in no hurry to part with mine. Well, at least not all of it.

The American Dream is Prehistoric

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Montezuma Castle is quite a sight. It is not a castle and it has nothing to do with Montezuma. It was most likely a single family home.

It is especially remarkable when you consider the lack of technology the builders (Sinagua) had at their disposal. This was a major undertaking. Not much is left of the other homes in this village. But this one is still a monument to the American Dream.

When I first laid eyes on this place, I thought, “Somebody had some serious enemies.” The anthropologist on staff at the monument said that was not the case. There wasn’t even a single weapon to be found.

My theory, the American dream has existed for as long as there have been Americans.

I am amazed by the little things.

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Often times I am distracted by the details. I can miss the forest for the trees. But, sometimes the opposite is true. I can also miss the details.

The details are important. If for no other reason, they are important because somebody took great effort to make them right.

I am convicted that all of nature was made for my own personal enjoyment. I view creation as a place for me to commune with the Creator. He is all about the details. Nature is full of tiny things that make all the difference.

This post is devoted to some of those little things that I saw along my way through Arizona.

These are the smallest Holly leaves I have ever seen. Their size amazes me.

This little worker would be easy to overlook. This is probably her only portrait.

A blossom’s sole purpose in life is to be noticed. So I think we should.

One could say this is a tree with a few blossoms. But this little worker noticed each one.

Lord, I stand amazed. You are the Master of the details. You must love me a great deal to make them. Thank you for making them for your little worker.

I’m Back.

Monday, June 19th, 2006

As soon as I got back, I got busy.

Training trips can be fun or boring. The day starts with training and then you get cut loose in the evening. Sometimes you get to see a few sights. Sometimes all you get to see is restaurants and the hotel. We did get out a little on this trip.

This is me somewhere between Jerome and the Verde Valley.

This is the front of my hotel during what Arizona calls a “haboob.” In Odessa we called it wind.

We did get to go to a couple of ball games. Chase field, also known as the BOB, is a great place for a ball game. The ball park at Arlington may be bigger and more nostalgic but, this one is air conditioned.

I took this outside of Sedona. I took many of these types of pictures. The thing is, when you see the Arizona scenery it is breathtaking. When you look at the pictures, it is like thumbing through postcards. Sometimes the best photography can’t do justice to Creation.

I’ll post some more about the specific places later. For now, I’ll just be standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona.

I’ll be back soon

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Sorry I have been gone so long. I will be returning home soon and will post with pictures and stuff from my trip.

My training trip has been quite an adventure. I even met a reader at a ball game out here. She recognized me and introduced herself. She is the sister of another blogger but wants to remain anonymous. I can post her picture but she didn’t want me to tell anyone who her brother is for some reason. Go figure.

Even though my trip is fun and my hosts are hospitable, I am terribly homesick. I miss my children. I can’t even tell you how much I miss my wife.

Well, there is a line of folks here in the lobby wanting to take this chair and check their email. So, I better be moving along. Me and my travel companion are about to go find I nice sports bar to eat supper and watch the Mavericks. See you soon.