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Our New Grandson

(If you read this blog post before Saturday evening at 9:45 EST, you didn't see the latest pictures I was able to get this evening. I've added them at the end of this blog post.)

Friday, March 9, our phone rang at 1:50 a.m. It was our son-in-law Jim calling to let us know that they were at the hospital and that our grandson would probably be born soon. This came as quite a shock to us because the due date was not until April 22, six and a half weeks later. Jim said that Megan had been diagnosed with severe preeclampsia - her blood pressure was quite high and it was affecting her liver especially. Since she and the baby were both in grave danger, they did an emergency C-section. Jim called to let us know that Andrew James (they're calling him Drew) had been born at 3:40 a.m., and Mom and baby were both doing well and recovering. At birth Drew weighed 3 lbs. 15 oz., was 17 inches long, and had some dark hair.

Becka and I decided during those sleepless, prayerful hours during the rest of that night that we would drive up to Detroit this weekend to see everyone, going part way Friday and the rest of the way up on Saturday morning. Then I would drive back alone on Sunday, she would spend the week up here, and that I would come back next weekend. When my dear friend Bruce Byers heard our plan, he insisted on covering my afternoon classes so that we could get on the road 4 hours earlier. This enabled us to drive all the way on Friday, arriving at a little after midnight, utterly exhausted but happy to be at this end of the trip. Bruce's kindness gives me the whole day here today before starting the trip home tomorrow. What a blessing this has been!

We went to the hospital to see everyone first thing this morning. Megan is still in pretty rough shape and has quite a bit of recovery ahead of her. It's good that Becka can be here all week with her. Our little grandson Drew is so beautiful and such a gift from the Lord! My eyes are welling up with tears as I type this. When I think how close we came to losing them both, it's just overwhelming. I can't begin to describe everything in my heart and mind as I hugged Megan and as I held my precious grandson this morning for the first time! All I can say is "God is so good!"

I'm putting two pictures below from this morning - one of Jim and Drew and one of me holding Drew. We'll go back later this afternoon, and I'll add pictures as I can.

Presenting baby Drew...

picture of Andrew James

Megan and Drew...

picture of Megan and Drew

Jim and Drew...

picture of Jim and Drew

Grandma Loach and Drew...

picture of Grandma and Drew

Grandpa Loach and Drew...

picture of Grandpa and Drew

Look how little his hands are!

picture of such little hands

More as this exciting new chapter in our lives unfolds! You'll have to bear with me - I'm a first-time grandfather! Much yet to learn and experience.... 😎

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"Let your life be a chronicle of the activity of God." - Dr. Drew Conley

Changing Times

Those of you in the U.S. have to remember that we're changing to daylight savings time this weekend. I don't know why, but it takes me about a week to adjust completely each time we make this change, but especially in the spring when I'm already tired and then have to lose a precious hour of sleep!

When I got to thinking about "changing times" I thought of something I sent to the ivman group back in 2000 and have received every year since then, purporting that it was for whatever year that was 100 years earlier, most recently several times in 2007 for the year 1907. You'll see from the info about the original source that it was indeed written about life in the year 1900.

It is quite interesting to see how people lived at that time. They would be totally shocked at what our lives are like now and would probably understand little of what we take for granted!

100 Years Ago ... It May Be Hard to Believe
(from a book called "When My Grandmother Was a Child" by Leigh W. Rutledge, which begins, "In the summer of 1900, when my grandmother was a child...."

1. The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven.

2. Only 4 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.

3. Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

4. A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

5. There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.

6. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

7. Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.

8. The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower, which at that time was only 11 years old.

9. The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour. The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.

10. More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.

11. Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

12. Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.

13. Most women washed their hair only once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

14. Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason, either as travelers or immigrants.

15. The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were

  • Pneumonia and influenza
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke.

16. The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

17. Drive-by shootings -- in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else that caught their fancy -- were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.

18. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty. The remote desert community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.

19. Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned drinks, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

20. There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

21. One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

22. Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health. Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine (hence the name).

23. Punch card data processing had recently been developed, and early predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the government to help compile the 1900 census.

24. Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

25. There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S. annually.


This is Rob again... I wonder how quaint people will think we were when they read about our lives in a hundred years?


"Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't." -- Richard Bach

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The bathtub was invented in 1850. The telephone was invented in 1875. This might not seem like much, but if you had lived back then, you could have sat in the bathtub for 25 years without being bothered by the phone!

What If One Lifetime Were like One Year?

It’s amazing all the threads of my recent life that are weaving together to remind me of the the preciousness of time and life, especially this time of life. Saturday morning was our annual Family Missions breakfast at our church. The speaker for our program that morning was one of our church’s missionaries, my friend, Dr. Tim Keesee. I absolutely love reading his newsletters - he writes so well! But I seldom get to hear him speak. He showed a DVD that his mission has made about the persecuted church in a mainly Muslim country in Asia. Afterwards he spoke about what that all has to do with us in our country. He encouraged us to spend our lives well by making much of Christ and by being willing to take risks for Him as we embrace His cross. This is exactly what our persecuted brothers and sisters are doing where they live. The power of the DVD and of what Tim said was evident to all in attendance.

Then Sunday morning I heard Dr. Ken Casillas speak from Eccl. 11 and 12 on the topic “What to Do with Your Youth.” That passage reminds us that our life is “vanity” = like a vapor that’s here and then gone. The passage makes it clear that it’s God’s will, not only that we enjoy the goods things He gives us to enjoy in our youth, but also that we devote to God our youth with all its energy and strength because old age limits our capacities. As one who is between youth and old age, I can still do much with my life.

Then Dr. Matt Olson spoke in our chapel this morning (Monday) on a topic that kind of wove threads in the other two messages together in my heart. This whole thing has been really neat because I had already been thinking a lot about the passage of time as we anticipate welcoming our first grandchild into this world in late April. There are three of us who teach French at BJU, and before the end of this calendar year, we will turn 60, 58, and 56. (I’d like to graciously say that I’m the youngster!)

All of this has reminded me of something I sent to those who were ivman subscribers over 5 (YIKES!) years ago! It was originally written by Pastor Gordon Dickson, a pastor in Findlay, Ohio. He wrote it to share with his congregation and sent me a copy at that time. I share it with you on the blog with his permission and blessing. We can all profit from such a reminder.

What if one lifetime were like one year?
by Dr. Gordon A. Dickson

Moses said in Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Here’s an idea - plan your life like you plan your year. All of us prepare for the seasons of the year. (If you don’t believe me, check the mall parking lots at certain times of the year.) All of us know how to plan for New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We understand the “rhythms of the seasons.” Now let’s see if we can look at our passing years the way we look at the passing seasons. If my math is right, every five days would represent one year (using Moses’ average life span in Psalm 90:10).

So, what if your lifetime were like one year?

The day you were born - Happy New Year! It’s the start of a brand new life and a brand new year. What a wonderful season! Your whole life and your whole year are before you!

At nine years old, you would find yourself at Valentine’s Day. It’s still too early for spring, but things are beginning to change. Valentine’s Day introduces you to love - and not just the mom and dad kind. When you discover this kind of love, everything begins to change!

You would be “sweet 16? on St. Patrick’s Day … and not a moment too soon either! This “green” day reminds you of the greening of spring. In this season of “spring cleaning,” you must sort out the treasure from the trash. At 16, you are choosing between good and garbage - constantly. Your choices in “spring cleaning” stay with you all year long, and that’s just like life. You need the Lord’s help to know trash from treasure.

At 18, you’re late in March and ready to march. Congratulations! High school is behind you, the world lies at your feet. Spring is in full swing! It’s a time to plan your planting. So much of the rest of your “life year” will be formed by the choices you make here. It’s time to ask the Lord for wisdom.

Age 22? You’re in the Easter season and already making some very adult decisions. As the flowers bloom and the weather warms, you see bright new horizons ahead of you. Already you have seen the results of some of those trash/treasure decisions and those “sowing and reaping” choices. As you plan out vacations and holidays, you begin to realize that the course of your “life year” is pretty well set. How you “applied your heart to wisdom” has made all the difference.

When you’re 27, you would be celebrating Mother’s Day, and, by Memorial Day, you would be “over the hill” at 30! The weather is warm and the plans are many. Now you are making decisions, not only for yourself, but for others. You have more responsibilities and more opportunities. Sometimes wisdom comes knocking - with some very hard knocks! It becomes more and more obvious what kind of life and what kind of year you’ve made for yourself.

If you are in your mid-thirties, it’s time to celebrate July 4th. Isn’t independence great? But how did time pass so quickly? Valentine’s Day was just yesterday, right? These are warm days, sweltering “years,” hot with the activity of many well laid plans. The real fruit of your choices is starting to show and grow. It’s time to “number your days” and “apply your heart to wisdom!”

By the time you’re fifty, it’s Labor Day, and the summer is over. It’s harvest time! So many choices you made earlier in the year, and earlier in life, are now ready for harvest. You begin to understand the phrase “too soon old; too late smart.” Fall is on the way. Is that snow on the roof already?

It seems a stretch, but if you’re 65 you would be at Thanksgiving. (Whew! let’s stop and catch our breath!) In this season of the year, you want to gather all your loved ones together. The word “family” is very important during this part of your “life year.” It’s time to gather together to enjoy the fruit of your labors. It’s time to bless and be blessed.

At 70, it’s Christmas … who would have believed it? Reminiscing in this season brings back the memories of a lifetime. The treasure of those beautiful memories must push aside the trash of the bad memories. It’s time to bless others with the fruit of your year and the fruit of your life.

In which season of the “life year” are you now living? Wisdom teaches us to use each season of life the right way. It’s never too late for “course adjustments.” As most of this new year lies before us, I hope you will treasure every moment that you have, and remember “time waits for no man.” None of us is guaranteed three score and ten years.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalm 90:12


“It’s not about how you die. It’s about how you live…. You cannot save your life. You can only spend it.” - Dr. Tim Keesee

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I am not getting old, just more time sensitive.


This week and next there's a fun diversion on campus - the TAG game. I signed up and looked forward to evading my pursuer and stalking my target(s), but alas, I was tagged at 7:42 on Monday morning before I could even get into the building where my office is. The guy who tagged me was himself tagged later that day. My first target still hadn't been tagged as of noon yesterday. It's been hilarious to hear all the stories as the game unfolds. A dear friend and colleague who was tagged after being chased through some bushes behind our building said, "It was great! I felt like an 11 year old again!" You can read more about this by looking at the Collegian, the school newspaper.

All this talk about TAG this week has made me think about tags of all sorts, including license tags, particularly vanity plates. Vanity plates add some humor and a mental challenge on the otherwise dreary commute to work or school.

Some license tags don't say a whole lot, but they're still kind of cute, like:

Place names and school affiliations are prominent on the list:
(Being a Yankee would help to understand the last two!)

Some plates aren't too hard to figure out and give a hint about the driver's personality or interests:
NO BURN (in Florida)
HIHO AG (a chemist who is a Lone Ranger fan?)
IFIXBAX - I fix backs (seen on chiropractor's car)
ALLEZ (French for GO!)
VIII FE (think *golf* ... "8 iron")
CIA L8R ("See ya later")
IAMBMW (on a Toyota Celica)
MTR-TRND - on a 2006 Honda Civic (was Motor Trend's car of the year)
GIDDYUP - on a Mustang

Others give a hint about how the driver acquired the car:

Part of the fun is trying to figure out what the combination of letters and numbers means and why the driver chose them. See if you can figure out the following (answers follow).


Here are the answers...

ICNCYDU - I see inside you - a radiologist's plate
CYIMBRK - See why I'm broke - found on a 95 Ford 3/4 ton truck
OH2B39 - On the car of a woman in her early 50s
YURNEXT - On the car of an undertaker
1DFOAL - Wonderful, on a Ford Mustang. (Foal, as in baby horse)
2PCME - To pee, see me! (a urologist's plate)
2QT4U - Too cute for you - the driver was a beautiful woman
4ZNUF - Four children is enough
9MPGWOW - 9 Miles Per Gallon, Wow! - on a 1966 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
NOMODO - No More Dough - on a veerrrry expensive car
IW84NO1 - I wait for no one
PP DR - A urologist in the Detroit area
W8N4FRI - Waitin' for Friday ... join the club!
XKWIZIT - Exquisite - on a '56 speedster
ZMEGOBYU - See me go by you!
CME4DK - See me for decay, on a dentist's car
KPASAMD - Que Pasa MD - What's up doc?

Of course this is just a drop in the very large bucket of creative vanity plates out there. I'm sure you readers could post some of your own that you've seen. Below is a picture of one sent to me a while back.

*so* blond!


"The Lord doesn't just tell us what to do. He also gives us the reason." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Always remember that you're unique, just like everyone else.

Police Comments

I know several police officers, and my hat goes off to them and their colleagues for doing what *has* to be one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world. I am thankful that there are people who are willing to be police officers to protect the rest of us from much evil that would run rampant in society without them. I've recently received an email with a list of comments made by police to individuals who were being stopped for one reason or another. I've tried to verify the comments on snopes.com but found nothing to say whether they are real.

The following police comments were supposedly taken from actual police car videos around the country:

"Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them a while."

"Take your hands off the car, and I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

"If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

"Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? In case you didn't know, that is the average speed of a 9mm bullet fired from my gun."

"So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

"Yes sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"

"Warning! You want a warning? Okay, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you *another* ticket."

"Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid."

"The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

"Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey doo."

"Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."

"No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."

"I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail."

"You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."


Wow, huh?! At least amid what seem like some rather harsh comments, I do detect a note of ironic, if not sarcastic, humor.


ivman update...

Since the iv's are basically "archived" here on the blog, I will not be updating the iv archives. For those who haven't visited the archives, the tab at the top of this page will take you to four years' worth of iv's, in chronological order.


"God sometimes deals with us by letting our sins deal with us." - Dr. Stephen Jones

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Gene Police: "YOU... Out of the pool!"