Sunday, December 12, 2010

If You Could Read My Mind...


It has been way too long since I've posted anything...

For those of you that have seen or heard of me in these past two years - tell me...

What do you think I have been thinking? What should I have written about?

What do you think drives me?


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

First Christmas Memory

My son poses for the brainchild of my daughter. "Hi."

So, I was talking with the wife about first Christmas memories the other day. I conjured up many memories - but not sure of the chronology (I know, no surprise for those of you that know me. I can't remember the what day it is from the freckle on my nose). It seems that my gray hair and my gray matter are getting less able to track the days...

Anyway - I thought of my favorite Christmas churchy memory. We used to go to a Vespers Service with candles and afterwards - we blew out our own candles. Then, on our way out - the elders handed out these funny looking stocking to kids - filled with oranges, chocolates, candy canes and other goodies. It was here that I found the joy of combining tastes of chocolate AND navel oranges. Much later, I came to the knowledge that the Italians had much earlier made this discovery. How is it that my memories are almost always associated with: geography, culinary and culture - in that order???

What is your first Christmas memory? And even more important - what does it say about you now?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

White Water

Times are a changin'
Rock and Roll!
Danger Zone ahead!
Don't look back!

It has been a whirlwind (and whirlpool) of a summer.

So, here I go...

I started my admin program at George Fox University four weeks ago.
I am taking 7 credits this summer and will have some days from noon 'til 9 at night, in class. I travel 21 miles, one way to Newberg every day. The gas prices are not conducive to my 12 mpg Dodge Ram.

We celebrated my parents 50 year anniversary in Sunriver. We actually got them into a raft. Mom chose to sit and not row. JT and Nat had a great time and our guide was lots of fun. The Big Eddy (class 3-4) rapids were faster than I had ever done.

JT is in classic soccer and has had three tournaments (about 5 games per weekend). Fortunately we haven't had to travel out of state. His team is progressing nicely and continue to make great plays and saves. JT is a strong defender.

Nat is off to Middle School camp next week and is constantly talking about it. She was a first time Day Camp Counselor this summer and enjoyed the second graders. Her name was SUNNY. This made her folks quite proud. She grew up hearing, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..." every morning.

The Gwoods are gathering for another Reunion in Albany in two weeks.

I have checked out of my cubicle and have gone in to work about four times to check on outstanding projects.

I have done a few home projects and repairs.

I have delivered 89 boxes of empty beer bottles (no, I don't remember drinking it...) for my son's soccer team fundraisers.

I saw Will Smith in Hancock with Nat and want to see Indiana Jones - but will have to wait until all my classes are done on Aug 1.

Kim is constantly working and finds her greatest joy in her books and meeting with her 'culture club.'

The garage work bench is finally clean again and I found three new items for the soccer team group garage sale.

The professors at GFU were talking about me and they sent one of the "Doctors of Future Leadership" to challenge me to work towards my DED (that's doctor of education) degree as soon as I finish my masters... What a great honor - but I have so much to learn in the trenches first. My dear wife was delighted and says I should go for it - I never have thought of myself as DR material. What a bore.

The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Being grounded...

Sounds like punishment for disobedience?
No. Being grounded is finding your footing after being in a stormy desert. Being grounded is like coming home.

Being grounded is what happens when you step off the fast track and reflect on the many miracles that are so profoundly simple that most people consider them annoyances...


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh, Good - February!

It's in the newspaper, on the TV news, in the office conversations, and in the frozen fog. Winter Blues. The stats on depression, anxiety and suicide are impressive. I even heard that a psychologist in Finland has done studies an determined that January 19 through February 21st are the most depressing (suicidal) days on the planet. Just this weekend I have heard several Christian responses to this trend. Sunshine for your soul!

Here's the cure for Winter Blues:
1. Know and say out loud - God's promises each day.
2. Practice your Spiritual Gifts (notice I did not say 'talent').
3. Give credit to The Godhead (The Trinity), in unity for your gifting.
4. Remember that your gifting shows (manifests, incarnates, highlights, exposes), the Glory of God. It also show community in unity.
5. Remember, that the gift giving usually requires sacrifice. That's why the greatest gift is love.
6. Hope - Spring is on its way.
7. Faith - vision to perceive the world with God's eyes.

Until then, here's some of my favorite summer shots of Cental Oregon in the Newberry Crater National Park, 2007.
Your Word is like streams of living water to my soul.

I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and keep you from harm.

Behold, the Lord our God is one. His ways are Holy and merciful and mighty is He.

Everlasting to everlasting - His love endures forever.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blackbird- Fly

click to enlarge photo
We went up to the Seattle Museum of Flight last weekend. I was glad to see that the kids enjoyed it as much as I did. The special feature - The Blackbird - also know as the A-12.
The plane was a virtual failure. All the Blackbirds have crashed or now sit in museums today. However, The Blackbird helped to spawn a new era of leaders in the sky - the Stealth...

I have felt a bit like the Blackbird lately. A high flying accident waiting to happen. All of life's expectations, designs, goals, targets and energies... waiting for a culmination of success - then...? Crash or sit in a museum...

Having been a teacher for the last 18 years - I feel like I'm ready for a new design, a new flight plan. So, I made application to a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) position this year. It has been an exceptional opportunity and I have learned lots about 'school-improvement.'

One question that I can't escape - "are you in training to be a principal?" I must have had a dozen different answers to that question. Ultimately, the answer always came back to the simple fact that I can't trust myself to do the job. Or maybe, I just have such lame faith. I lack the trust that my God has taken me this far and will not leave me. Is God big enough? Yes. Am I good enough? No. So, how do you bring those statements together? Leap! Fly the nest! So, I decided (not confidently), to enter a Masters Program for my Administrative license. Am I cut for that kind of job?

Paul sang "blackbird sings in the middle of the night. Take these broken wings and fly... all your life... You were only waiting for this moment to arrive."click to enlarge photo.
This is an enhanced photo of part of one of the two engines for the Blackbird. I look at the gold, aluminum and titanium tubing and all the ins and outs. Complicated mess. My lack of confidence in my ability to pull this admin thing off - reminds me of this tangled mess. Too many ins and outs.

My prayer - "take this broken wing - help me fly."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Round and Round

The holidays have hit with such a whirl of activity. I had so many plans to get on top of my diet and exercise - NOT!

Sleeping in and partying late - no wonder the whirlwind has spun me into a funk.

I keep hearing about friends that are starting - "Biggest Loser" contests. I am certain I could take the Biggest Gainer Award. They keep talking about the $100 buy in. Who's got the cash available for that?

My head still spins...