Jesus Im Fokus

Next October (2010), the lovely Robin and I will be traveling to Dillenburg, Germany (near Frankfurt), for the following event, at which I will be a featured speaker:

It is an event attended by 700 or so children's, youth, and other pastors from Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. I'll be speaking on the theme, "EDGES: Smoothing the Sharp Corners of Ministry" from October 29-31.

Seen at Starbucks

I was minding my own business at Starbucks this morning, when a young woman (Miami student, I'm sure) came to the fixin's bar by my table. I looked up momentarily from my book, and couldn't help but notice that her feet were positioned in a way that, while not atypical of females in my experience, nonetheless looked mighty unnatural.

Seriously, who stands like that? I even hesitated pulling out my iPhone, figuring she'd never hold the pose for long. But she did. And seemed perfectly comfortable doing it, before walking away like a normal person.

But it caused me stress just looking at it.

Adventures in Babysitting

All it takes to turn a simple lunch date at McDonald's into a spine-tingling a two-year-old.

I again had the joy of taking my grandson, Miles, out to lunch today. He had chicken nuggets and apple slices (and preferred dipping the apple slices in the barbecue sauce, instead of the caramel dip that supposedly--silly enough--was intended for the apple slices). But he also found the two high-school boys at the next table absolutely mesmerizing, asking every few seconds, "What's the guy doing?"

He met Ronald McDonald in person for the first time; Ronald didn't say much. Didn't answer a single one of Miles's questions. Oh, well.

But the fun was just beginning.

A few weeks ago, Miles and I stopped to inspect (up close) a shiny semi truck, which he found truly fascinating--and apparently memorable, too, because as we passed a semi cab in a parking lot by the side of the road, he pointed out (using his truncation of the adjective I had applied to the truck, "ginormous") the "normous" truck! So we stopped and had a blast looking at this fine specimen of the species normous truck.

But the fun wasn't over yet. We also got to see a "dozer" and a "big shovel" sitting just off the road on our drive back home from McDonald's and the "normous" truck.

The only disappointment of the day was that each of the machines we saw were "sleeping," and so were not emitting any smoke from their smokestacks. That was a considerable drawback. But we left them to their slumber and just had to hope that some day we might visit when they are awake.

You Can't Believe Everything You Read

This is actually my sister- and brother-in-law's fence. To quote a now-famous congressman, "You lie!"

When Did I Forget That a Walk Can Be an Adventure?

I had the blessing of taking my grandkids for a walk around the neighborhood this morning, and BOY, did we have fun. We saw trucks and cars and SUVs and boats (even a "noisy" garbage truck), were fascinated by birds on a wire (who actually FLEW AWAY as we got close!), and were barked at by a dog behind a screen door, and wished we could go pet the dog (but didn't), and wondered who lived in what house, and listened to birds sing and lawnmowers roar.

And that was just the first half-block! Then Miles walked on the grass...such a big boy:

We watched a man unload a pickup bed full of dirt into his front garden (it's great when you're young and the ground is so close and you don't need a chair, you can just squat anywhere and be pretty doggone comfortable all the livelong day):

And then--OH, JOY OF JOYS!--we found a stump that was PERFECT for sitting on, and Mia, who had stayed awake the WHOLE time, looked on and slobbered and cooed (two of the things she does best so far) while Miles sat and thought deep thoughts:

After awhile, at Miles's invitation, I sat with him, and we talked--oh, how we talked!--and Miles tickled his Crappaw, and Crappaw tickled Miles, and then Miles decided (and Crappaw concurred) that it was time to go back to "Mimi's house." So we did.

Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon

The lovely Robin and I visited Phoenix and the Sedona in 2004. I spoke at a Christian Writers' Conference in Phoenix, after which we visited with my uncle George and aunt Dorothy in Sun City before heading to Sedona, where we were hosted by our lovely friends Bob and Mona from Sedona, Arizona...I just like saying that. Bob and Mona showed us such a great time, and chauffered us around the area, where the following photos were taken:

Thereafter it was on to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and a night in the awesome El Tovar Lodge (tiny room, but everything else was wonderful).

It was such a blessing to take the lovely Robin to see the Grand Canyon, which she had never before seen:

It was a cold and windy day on the south rim--Robin wore a winter coat with hood and mittens!--but we enjoyed an amazing hike along the path, and a fine meal at the El Tovar.