This video store--Video To Go--has a deep history with our family.
My wife and I were just finishing lunch at Panera Bread in Lansing's Frandor Shopping Center when I looked out the window there and saw the Video To Go store. When we rented a video tape for one of the first times more than 20 years ago, it was from this store.
With changes in the way movies and other videos are delivered with Netflix and other services, I have to wonder how much longer it will stay in business.
When I think about Video To Go and how much television watching has changed, I think of my three grandkids, one almost five, one who is two and one who is almost a year-old. They will have never seen video tapes and the odds are that they will not see a whole lot more of DVDs.
Their lives will be much more affected by the pace of technological change than mine. They are learning how to adapt to this rapid change. They are also learning how to recognize truths that never change.
How long will it be before one of them can call me on their later stage Apple Watch? They have all had their dalliances with iPads and apps for kids. They know about watching streamed movies over the web.
Change is inevitable. The pace of these changes seems to be running in high gear.
My felt tip marker reminder wore off, but it's still true. I am God's truly loved son.
What if I was sitting around the table for lunch with my three grandchildren, Xavier, Gretchen and Miles and they asked me what was the most important advice I could give them?
It's probably the most important thing I've learned in my six-plus decades of life. It's a lesson that's like a scab that won't go away. Every once in a while I pick at it and it reappears. I guess I have to just stop picking and accept it.
The idea is not brand new to me, but I never heard put this simply. Our pastor, Jeff Manion, of Ada Bible Church, was in the second part of a series on Ephesians called People of the Way. It was on identity and how we get it.
He got to Ephesians 1:5 where the Paul, the apostle writes about how God, in love, adopted us as his sons and daughters. He is our father.
I had trouble imagining God as my father. Sounds nice, but, I could never call him up and ask him out for a craft beer or a coffee and just talk.
And, then Jeff said,
Remember Who You Are
I am a treasured son of the Almighty God. He picked me up. He saved me. My primary identity comes from him. That's what I want my grandkids to remember and never forget. Tattoo it on your arm or on your hand. Make it someplace where you are always reminded.
Do I believe it? Yes, I choose to believe it. God is becoming more real to me.
This was taken on our first vacation without the kids. We are waiting for a bear to cross our path in Alaska.
She deserves fields of heavenly-scented marigolds and daffodils today on Mother's Day and every other day. This morning I went to my online depository of digital pictures and plugged in her name and it kicked back bold reminders of how we have lived lots of life together.
A big chunk of it has revolved around her being a mom. We started out with the two of us and now have nine in our immediate family. Our kids and their kids are living life daily with smiles on their faces. They all love God and they are making a difference.
We've travelled to some far off places including Haiti, Alaska, Mexico and Eastern Europe. Much of it was to see our kids. We did it together.
We have moved into the senior citizen phase of life. There's downsizing and a move in the future. We are looking at where we want to land next. We have picture of grandchildren all over the place.
I'm looking forward to everyday that God gives us together and I thank him for the very special mother of my children and my best friend.
Renewing our vows on our 30th anniversary. This was really special when our son-in-law Adam Jones, a pastor, took us through a backyard ceremony of renewal.
As I've woven my way through some pretty serious eye problems, Gladys has been with me to a myriad of ophthalmologists appointments. She's never lost the smile.
She bathed our kids and our dog Snoopy. Notice the big smile on our dog's face.
This was taken a few years ago in Petoskey during a wedding weekend for one of my cousin's kids.
My mother was a real life hero. When circumstances seemed crushing and life impossible, she wouldn't give up on life or on me.
Tomorrow's Mother's Day and I wish I could have all the mothers who have been part of my life sitting around a table. There's my mother, my wife's mother, my daughter and my daughter-in-law. They are special people who have a vital role.
This above picture was taken in 1947 the year before my father--Claude H. Thorp--vanished. He left, never came back, never contacted us and never divorced her. I was barely a toddler when he cast us by the side of the road with no means of support.
My mom didn't quit. Life was hard and somedays were an emotional roller coaster for her. She made it work. She died in 1996. She had a love that could only come from one place. It was the overflow of the love that Jesus had for her and she passed it on to me. Even though, we had been both rejected and cast aside, she made me fill the love of God and reminded me that I was a treasured son of His.
The fact that she made it is not her story, but it's God's story about how he never abandons us, even if human fathers do.
Mom, I hope you have a good table up in heaven for dinner on Mother's Day. I'm thinking of you. And I thank God for you and your strong will and conviction.