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Posts Tagged ‘time’

So Teach Us to Number Our Days…


Earlier this week I posted the obituary of my former German professor, colleague and friend, Edith Long. Today I am shocked to have to tell you about the death of her son Paul on the way home from his mom's funeral. I am saddened beyond words.

With all the news coverage of Hurricane Ike yesterday and today, what would have been a huge news story - the horrible train crash in the Los Angeles area - has been pushed to the background. Paul, Karen, and Devin Long flew back home yesterday (Friday) after several days with Paul's family here in Greenville. Paul told me after the graveside service that he was dreading having to connect through Dallas with all the news about the storm expected to go through there. As far as I know, they got through Dallas fine. However, our Lord had it in His plan that they would be aboard the Metrolink commuter train involved in yesterday's collision. Karen and Devin each suffered minor injuries, but Paul suffered severe head trauma that resulted in his death this afternoon. Paul's sister Gail sent me a link this afternoon to an article in the NY Times about the crash. Paul's son Devin was interviewed shortly after the accident yesterday and quoted in the article. I put the link further down in this blog post, but the article has changed in the last hour, maybe with the news of Paul's death. Here's what was in the original article:

"Witnesses described a scene of instant terror. Devin Long, 16, was sitting in the middle car with his parents when the trains collided. "There was a great big jerk," he said. "I heard what sounded like a bunch of cars colliding, like a multicar crash. Both my parents went flying. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor between the exit doors." Mr. Long was thrown from his seat, but remained conscious.

His father, Paul Long, 56, lay unconscious but breathing by the stairwell to the second level of the double-decker car. His mother, Karen Long, 55, was injured but alert, he said. “When I saw the condition Dad was in, I sort of freaked out,” he said. “Mom was trying to communicate with Dad. I turned around and saw all the seat cushions tossed about the car. There was blood everywhere. People had cuts on their heads and faces, legs; they had many injuries.”

You may read whatever form the article now has by clicking here.

Paul was three years behind me in college, but through his mom, he and I got to know each other while I was in college and he was still in high school. We shared a very similar sense of humor. Paul was a long-time reader of my e-mails and my blog, and he sent me quite a bit of humor and even some more reflective types of things. Whenever he and his family came to Greenville to visit, we would have lunch together.

Please pray for his wife Karen and son Devin, as well as Paul's three siblings and their families. They have not even had time to begin to process Edith's homegoing and are in total shock about Paul's sudden departure for heaven. We're all reeling from the shocking suddenness of this all, but we're comforted by the knowledge that our Lord has not lost control - this was all in His loving plan for us all.

Today, I'm going to post the last thing my friend Paul sent to me. At the beginning of his e-mail he said, "Unfortunately, I remember most of these!"

Things you don't hear anymore...

Be sure to refill the ice trays - we're going to have company after while.

Watch for the postman - I want to get this letter to Aunt Mary in the mail today.

Quit slamming the screen door when you are on your way out!

Put a dish towel over the cake so the flies won't get on it.

You boys stay close by - the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.

There's a dollar in my purse. Get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.

It's getting hot. Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here.

Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.

Why can't you remember to roll up your pant legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up.

You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.

Don't you go outside with your good school clothes on!

Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.

If you pull that stunt again, I'm going to wear you out!

Get out from under the sewing machine; bumping it messes up the thread!

That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs just don't come in the house.

Wash your feet before you go to bed. They are nasty from playing outside all day barefooted.

Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by - I need to get a few things from him.

You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise.

Don't sit too close to the TV. It's hard on your eyes.

Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.

It is time for your system to get cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.

If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.

Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way!

quotation...

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12


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Changing Times


My annual annoyance at having to switch from Daylight Savings Time to "real time" has been expanded this year by a decision from our Congress-critters (those that I prefer to think of as "they who know what's best for the rest of us, even though many of their own personal lives are in shambles") - their decision that we not only have to change the time, but also to change the week that we have to change the time! Tell that to our laptop and to our kitchen radio!!! They both reset themselves to "real time" last Sunday. Grr! The radio, I can do nothing to remedy - the autoset is built in. But for the computer I found a handy little free utility you can download from Microsoft called tzedit. You can download it by clicking on the link in the previous sentence. Save it to somewhere on your computer where you can find it, run the application, choose the Sundays you want the computer to change its time, and you shouldn't have to do anything more ... well maybe not until our Congress-critters decide to have us change time on other Sundays - like the 9th Sunday before the Solstace or some such equally sensible thing. Good grief!

I don't want to sound like an grumpy, old man bemoaning constant changes, but I'm nothing like the woman who wrote what I'm posting today!

We Must Stop These Changing Times ... Immediately!

Have you noticed that stairs are getting steeper? Groceries are heavier? And, everything is farther away? Yesterday I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street had become!

Also I have noticed the ground is harder, trails are longer, and the nights have become a lot colder than they used to be!

And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the young ones. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up, they just keep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they're red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?!

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day, and she has aged so much that she didn't even recognize me! I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own reflection. Well, really now, even mirrors are not made the way they used to be!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast these days! You're risking life and limb if you happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 10 or 12 dress as 18 or 20? Do they think no one notices that these things no longer fit around the waist, hips, and thighs?

The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank, but in reverse. Do they think I actually *believe* the number I see on that dial?! HA! I would never let myself weigh that much! Just who do these people think they're fooling?

I'd like to call up someone in authority to report what's going on - but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too: they've printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in here!

All I can do is pass along this warning: We are under attack! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon everyone will have to suffer these awful indignities.

One good thing, though - I'm getting stronger! I can now carry $50 worth of groceries in one hand. Used to have make several trips to get them from the car to the kitchen!

WE MUST GET THIS CONSPIRACY STOPPED!

P.S. By the way, if you're reading this online and are having trouble with the smaller fonts web designers are using nowadays, you can increase the size of the font easily with the scroll wheel on your mouse. Just hold down the Ctrl key and turn the scroll wheel. This works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera browsers.

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Our daughter Megan took some cute pictures of our grandson Drew yesterday in the leaves. He looks so happy in this picture, right before what Megan has called his "meltdown." He has been a little crabby for several days, but yesterday afternoon he just cried and cried inconsolably. Megan did some checking and discovered that he's cutting two bottom front teeth - his first. Poor little guy. Anyway, here he is when he used to be a happy child...

Last weekend the Detroit Zoo had what was called Boo at the Zoo for parents with small children. Meg and Jim dressed Drew up like a little sweet pea and took him to the zoo. Here's a picture of our little "Sweet Pea."

Month two of the wellness program is past. I've met my goals both months. If I lose two more pounds, I'll be into the category for my height. If I can't shed those two pounds, I may buy elevator shoes instead.

It's hard to believe how fast this semester is flying by! Three weeks from today is Thanksgiving Day. My wife and I will be here at home alone with a Cornish game hen or something, since our two local kids will be out of town for Thanksgiving.

quotation...

"God is a Person who has everything you really need and who joys in pouring it out on you every day." - Dr. Dan Olinger

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"Children are allergic to clean clothes." - Dr. Gary Guthrie


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Joys of Aging


One of the true joys of aging is seeing your children become responsible adults. Another joy is grandchildren. Our daughter Megan and grandson Drew arrived at 2:30 this morning. It was sheer bliss to see Drew's face light up when he saw Grandma and Grandpa. Our first guess as to why was that he remembered us from all our bonding this summer. Our second guess was that we looked pretty funny at that time of the night. Our third guess was that he is simply a gregarious little guy who smiles at just about anyone. Megan confirmed that our third guess was correct. Sigh! We're doing our best to make ourselves memorable during this all-too-short three day visit. We've learned that having grandkids is one of the true joys of aging!

Here are a few pictures from the day today.

Here's a picture of Megan and Drew...

We got to see first hand how much Drew is enjoying baby food - here rice cereal and sweet potatoes...

Grandma loves holding her little guy again...

And Grandma and Grandpa can't give our little guy enough hugs and kisses...

Aunt Nora is really good at getting Drew to laugh...

Grandpa does his fair share of causing smiles and laughter...

This afternoon Drew and I enjoyed a little nap after our short night's sleep and our busy day...

This weekend my odometer flips another number. As my family plans a little birthday celebration for me, I get to choose from some games appropriate for folks my age.

Game choices for my birthday bash this weekend:

1. Sag - You're It!
2. Hide and Go Sleep
3. Hide and Go Seek Your Own Easter Eggs (a variation on the previous game)
4. 20 Questions Shouted into Your Good Ear
5. Kick the Bucket
6. Red Rover, Red Rover, the Nurse says Bend Over
7. Spin the Bottle of Liniment
8. Musical Recliners
9. Simon Says Something Incoherent
10. Pin the Toupee on the Bald Guy

quotation...

"God does not view being 'laid back' in the Christian life as a virtue." - Dr. Ken Casillas

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

My dream: to die young at a very old age.


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The Dash and the Jar


We're doing well and settling in after our time up north. Many people have heard about our accident, some had read about it on the blog, and some had heard nothing about it. (It's been fun to see who reads the newsy update section my blog posts and who doesn't.) 😉

Our pastor, Drew Conley, said something Sunday - "The longer I live the more I see that life is about saying no to most things so that I can do what really matters" - that reminded me of several really neat things in my files. I sent them out in 1998, shortly after the death of our friend Alain Laurens in France. It's sobering to think how quickly those nearly *nine* intervening years have passed. Our accident on July 4th that could easily have ushered us into eternity reminded us very strongly of the brevity and fragility of life. Life is truly a vapor, as the book of James says.

I've heard and read some who hint that having a blog is a narcissistic waste of time. I hope that's not the case with my blogging. I truly want to bless and challenge others and to spend my little time in this world on what really matters.

THE DASH
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash mid-range.")

If we would just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
as we've never loved them before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's read
with your life's actions to rehash...
will you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

One day, an expert was speaking to a group of business students. To drive home a point, he used an illustration those students will never forget.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz". Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar, and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top, and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full"? Everyone in the class said, "Yes". Then he said, "Really"? He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full"?

By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not", one of them answered. "Good", he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full"? "No", the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good". Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration"?

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it". "No", the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all".

What are the "big rocks" in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others?

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. Tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this story, ask yourself this question... what are the 'big rocks" in my life or business?

Then put those in your jar first.

quotation...

"God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of "other things.'" Jim Elliott

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

There are two things I have learned: There is a God. And I'm not Him.


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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.

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

quotation...

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

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

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!


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