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8 posts from March 2014

What should a 68-year-old guy have on his bucket list?

2014-03-26_08-09-29Are you an older baby-boomer who is in his or her mid to late 60s?

Do you have a list of things that you want to do before you reach the front door of eternity?

I turn 68 in a little over five months and I find myself trying to decide what I want to do before I reach the front doors of eternity.  

Super-wife and I both saw the movie Bucket List and we were entertained by two old guys trying to find themselves and to find experiences that would bring them fulfillment.  They travelled around the world to a lot of exotic places.  Do you remember where they went and what they did?  They climbed one of the tallest mountains.  Didn't they go to the Great Wall of China?

I think they had a long list of things they wanted to do?  Can I develop a list of five, ten or more?  I've got some ideas.  I signed up for where people from around the world share the items on their lists.  I thought I might find some inspiration.

One item I saw was "Getting A Tattoo."  How about a heart on my arm with my wife's name on it?  I don't think so.  I'd make the point better by loading and unloading the dishwasher for a week.


My world was changed forever when my daughter was born 32 years ago today

I remember vividly when I rolled by daughter down the hospital hallway 32 years ago today from the delivery area to the nursery after she was born.  I was walking on clouds.  My daughter plucked strings on the guitar of my heart that I never knew I had.

Krista's 32nd birthday is today and I'm sure that she and her family who live in Eastern Europe are celebrating.  

In my head right now, all I can hear is Matt Redomond's song 10,000 Reasons to praise God.  My daughter opened the door to a period of my life that would easily consume all ten thousand and more. As an only child and someone who had picked up a baby only once or twice before she was born, I learned.  

Dear God, thank-you for Krista and for her family.  And Krista, you are still a winner, big-time.  Mom and I will be talking about you today, probably all day.


This is a story in our local newspaper about Krista's baptism. She wore a baptismal gown made from the parachute that saved my uncle's plane during WWII. I wore it when I was baptized.



Getting to know my new grandson "Ike" Thorp


This is Justin when he was about two months old.

 It's official that our new grandchild is going to be a boy.  Our son Justin and his wife are keeping their name choices under wraps, but have chosen his working name while we all wait for him to be born in July.  It's Dwight or "Ike."

I've been thinking a lot about this new addition to our family and what he needs to ask his dad as he grows and gets to know his very special parents.  For his dad, "Ike" needs to ask:

  • If he was the one to cut his umbilical cord.  It's a perfect chance for Justin to whip out his latest device to look up the job of the cord during pregnancy and then to describe what it was like to make that big cut.  By the way, he needs to know that I cut my son's umbilical cord.
  • If Justin is Mac or PC.  It's a foundational question.  I would imagine that "Ike" will become familiar with his first keyboard at a very early age, one or two years old.  My new grandson needs to know the stories behind my family's connection to Apple and their various devices.
  • If the best cup of coffee comes from a French press or a pour over.  Justin has a history with coffee and the various kinds of drinks that can be made with it.  Don't forget to ask about cappucino.  There's a great story there too.
  • If he had a good time with his dog Adam, his stuffed pet that was a constant companion.  I can't forget the turtles, the Ninja Turtles which he still has.

"Ike" is a lucky guy to have a great mom and dad.  They are both very special.  Of course, I know his dad the best and I'm getting to know his mom.  

This kid is already a winner, a champion and I'm anxious to see the role that God has carved out for him.

Checking my passion on a Friday morning in mid-Michigan

I can see that the sun's coming up outside our living room window as I listen to this video from Francis Chan.  He talks about the Apostle Paul and the passion he showed for other people in what he wrote, especially Romans 9.  He talks about the unceasing anguish he has for the salvation of others.

This is grist for my thoughts as we prepare for our trip outside "the compound."

This is for my son and for other guys who will be new dads this year


My son Justin was still in grade school when he and I met Ken Canfield who was then the head of the National Center for Fathering.  We were at the Promise Keepers event at Soldier Field in Chicago and we stopped by the booth where Ken was signing copies of his book The Heart Of A Father.

Now my son and his wife are pregnant with their first child which is due in July and I ran into this blog post from the present head of the father center, Casey Carey.  

The post outlines seven things that dads should do with their kids.  The advice, in my opinion is golden.  It's money in the bank for your kid and how he develops and grows.

It's stuff that will make a difference and will be a world-changer for his child, regardless of whether he has a son or daughter.  

Justin, print this out.  Share it with your buddies who are going to have children soon.  

I want you to know that I pray for you, Lauren and your child, whether it's Stella or Ike everyday.


I'm not sure I like Parenthood, the television show, anymore


My son, Justin, got us hooked on watching the television show Parenthood.  When he lived in Washington, D.C. and when we would visit him, he would show us an episode or two of what television series he was watching.  He introduced us to "24", Lost, Parks & Recreation, House of Cards, John Quincy Adams and others.

At first, Parenthood with Craig T. Nelson seemed over the edge in how it portrayed a large family with sibling and their spouses and kids.  Family gatherings seemed to be an occasion for all of them to talk at the same time.  Then the show started to grow on me.

We saw a family where everybody had their own lives, but they had an active identity and attitude as a family unit.  They stood by each other in the ups and downs of daily living.  They knew how to come together and they cared for each other.

One more thing about the show was pointed out to me when my daughter-in-law, Lauren, pointed to me as the patriarch of our family, much like the character "Zeke" in this television show.  I had never thought of myself that way.

Then the current season started and the scenes with the family unit showing its stuff, it becamse a series of separate portraits with a light connection to each other.  It was too much like a daytime soap opera.  It doesn't keep my attention.

How many of you are watching tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC?  Do you find the show entertaining?  What do you or do not like about the storyline?  Should the television series have another season?

Here's how our mid-Michigan neighborhood looks on March 14, 2014

Our winters the past several years have been comparitively tame, compared to the one we've had this year.  It's the middle of March and here in the State Capital city of Michigan, it's brutally cold and there's lots of snow on the ground.  Here's how it looked this morning from our front door.



What can I learn from Jesus washing his disciple's feet?

Have you ever heard a sermon about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper?  I've heard many.  The actual occasion is found in John 13.  I remember going to a Promise Keepers event with my son and seeing many of the leaders wash each other's feet.

It's too easy to that incident literally.  At church Sunday, Bob King, a preaching pastor at Ada Bible Church, spoke about it from a larger context.  

He did talk about serving others as a way of duplicating reflecting what Jesus did for me.  He first talked about allowing Jesus to clean our hearts from the sin that permeates it.  

I invite you to watch the sermon by clicking on the video above this post.  I'm going to listen to it again.