Wednesday, June 24, 2009





It seems that my life is consumed with these right now. In fact, many elements of those 3 "Ds" spill over into our Elder Meetings.

Consequently the request in our last meeting: "Is all this written down somewhere?"

I answered, "Some parts are written, but not all of it. I live with it every day and carry much of it in my head."

"Then, could you please put in a written form where we can see the parallel timelines and know where we are on each of them?"

As he asked that last question, I sank lower in my chair. He was asking for written project management. When I explained that what he wanted was a tool that none of our three pastors have in our toolbox, he said, "I will be glad to meet with you and help put it together. I would welcome the help of one of the other Elders who also works with this type of thing every day." Another name was mentioned and he readily agreed.

We met yesterday -- two Elders and three Pastors. One of the Elders was at a whiteboard and the other charting it on a computer. I couldn't believe how much we got done in less than an hour!

That's what happens when everyone practices BYOG (Bring Your Own Gift).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My "Other" Dad

See that man with the kind face? That's my "other" dad. No, I wasn't raised by him and he hasn't been a part of my life as long as my "real" dad. On the other hand, he has been every bit a dad to me for about 37 years.

Cathy's dad is one of those rare people who really knew how to retire. "Retire" may be a misnomer for him. He went from his postal route to his wood shop. As testament to this, we have a beautiful grandfather clock and a unique coffee table in our living room, as well as various other pieces throughout the house.

This man whose grandchildren call him "PaPa" is a quiet, thoughtful man who helps instill in each of us the values of hard work and thrift. I married a girl who can squeeze dollars out of nickels and her daddy is a prime reason.

We have laughed over the years at his little piece of paper and pencil always found in his shirt pocket, but he gets the last laugh when he remembers what the rest of us forgot. He wrote it down!

I am forever grateful that he took me on as a Pinocle partner when Cathy and I were first married. He endured endless games of us losing because of my rookie mistakes. (We've had the last laugh on that one, too!)

The enduring lesson I have learned from him is to play games with your family and keep your sense of humor. We were playing "Balderdash" one day when the word was "cleek." Someone wrote the artificial definition: "a small, chinese stream." I looked over at his shaking shoulders and tear-filled eyes as he stifled a loud laugh and knew he was the culprit.

Bob, you mean more to me than you know. Thank you for being a dad to me! Happy belated, Father's Day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Gift

I often write this post the day before it is published. That means that today's thoughts were written yesterday (duh!). And yesterday was (in the U.S.) Father's Day.

So this lack of substance is my Father's Day gift... myself!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanks, Dad!

"I would rather be cheated out of a dollar than knowingly cheat someone else out of a dime."

"God is always faithful to provide for us."

"Every car that left that garage had my name behind it. I got tired of worrying whether one of the mechanics actually did the work they said they had done."



This is Father's Day number 20 since dad has been gone. But his words often ring in my ears.
"When someone hires you, they are paying for your time. Give them a fair deal."

"If you give your word, it's just as powerful as a signed document."

But the words I remember most clearly were spoken the last time I saw him, a few days before the cancer finished its painful course....

"I'll see you, son."
"Yes, dad, you will. It's twenty Father's Days closer than it was!"