Fab 40

The 40th Anniversary Adventure is history. Very good history. I told Sherry she was being kidnapped, but no more. As the day got closer, I heard her making commitments she wasn’t going to be able to keep. It never occurred to her I’d contacted Jonas, her boss, was delighted to join the conspiracy and give her extra days off. So I asked her if she’d prefer being liberated on Tuesday or Wednesday. Reality dawned slowly, but her quick Wednesday reply meant she had to make some changes in her schedule.

But then she wanted to know warm or cold, air or car, so she’d know how to pack. That led to total ignorance on my part. I felt knowing how long was excessive information already. On Wednesday morning I told her to bring her wet suite for sea kayaking. Thursday evening I happened to mention that we weren’t on a schedule. My murder mystery solving wife missed the significance of both clues!

Friday evening found us headed down highway 18 to Inn at Arch Rock, in Depoe Bay. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to stay. The pictures show you why! That’s our room, lower floor, far right. The curtains were never closed so the view was always there. Saturday was shirt sleeve warm, Sunday stormy, Monday very nice, and Tuesday mixed. And Wednesday we got snow!

We did our anniversary dinner at Kernville Steakhouse. They gave us the best table in the house, great food, and an exquisite dessert as a gift of the house. The sight of the river otter was a delightful addition. Two visits to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a trip south for a hike down in Seal Rock State Park gave appetite for supper at Chowder Bowl restaurant.

Our final evening was spent at Tidal Raves, which we could see from the door of our room. We did walk around rather than over the bay! We took several walks into town to visit favorite places like Fuddy Duddy Fudge Shop, which is for sale. For a mere $800,000 we could own the two bedroom ocean view apartment above the two retail shops.

The coast is so full of memories. Our family has camped in the rain, played in the surf, seen Sherry develop the ability to draw great views of grey whales by getting violently sea sick. We met Cyndee there. Driving along the coast I saw so many SF spots, with powerful memories of exploration and prayer. All this culminating in a completely relaxing, renewing fortieth. My pretty wife gets the St. Sherry award for loving me so wisely and so well over this time. What a joy to celebrate her.


Tomorrow is our 40th anniversary and tonight we head off on our adventure. I am doing it in surprise mode. All Sherry knew up to a few days ago was that we were going. She didn’t know I’d arranged vacation with her boss. But as her job is getting quite stressful as the company goes through some major growth, she was making some commitments that I knew she couldn’t keep. So I did give her some hints that let her figure out when we were getting back. She still doesn’t know where, what though she has a good idea of the why (at least I hope so!) It’s great fun playing with my pretty wife!

Nicole and Joy came with Samantha to see Sherry and Cyndee after Cyndee got back from spending two weeks with Elizabeth, Donn and Susan in Kansas City. She had a super time in family as well as being in a place in her work where she could actually take almost three weeks off. Her previous 24/7 stress has eased with a reorg at the Conference Center.

I’ve been doing a D.Min. class which is an all day every day thing. It’s great to be with the guys, but really tiring to go so hard. So the time on the adventure will be a much needed rest time as well as a great celebration.

I’d suggest that you have a look at this video on resurrection weekend. It combines one of my all time favorite Twila songs, "How Beautiful" with scenes from The Passion of the Christ. Combining the incredible scene where Jesus lifts Mary Magdalene from the dirt and Twila’s "How beautiful the tender eyes, that chose to forgive, and never despise" brought a huge emotion rush from me. It’s an exquisite picture.

You can see it here

Blessed Resurrection Day


Michael Card was at Western this week, teaching in the worship class. Since he’s my favorite musical expositor ever, I was excited. When I got to campus, Melissa told me Michael was looking for me. I quickly autographed a copy of Vintage Jesus and headed for the classroom. As we greeted each other happily, he received my gift as a most precious thing which awed me. He said he was going to give me A Sacred Sorrow and the companion volume, The Hidden Face of God. You can find them here on his web site. I laughed and assured him I already had them. He’d have to receive my gift as grace.

He provoked us mightily, of course, by asking questions like "How is God well worshipped?" and suggesting it’s when we bring our realest self to him. Trying to try to hide something from an omniscient God is simply the highest level of dumb!!

"What is the problem that concerns the book of Job?" It’s not suffering, of course. Neither does it give a theodicy. Why is it that sharing happiness in a gift can cause so much grief, anger, pain? God refuses to answer any questions. The problem, of course, is God Himself.

God defines himself as Hesed (Translated lovingkindness, faithfulness, mercy, and so on): He is the Person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything. It’s the only thing that makes covenant work. We keep breaking it and He keeps keeping it. Finally Jesus comes and keeps it fully.

The paradox begins because Job acts according to Torah. Job is so good that he does sacrifices for sins his kids might have done! But God does not. The equation "if I’m good, the God will be good" is the problem.

What we pray for is very seldom what we really need. We need His presence far more than His provision. And that’s what Job gets in the end. The "answer" for the problem of suffering is Psalm 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. It’s what Jesus tells Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat."

We’d expect Jesus to say, but I’ll protect you from him, I’ll rescue you and keep you from trouble. What He says is, "but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32)

The most important question for life in this broken world is "Is God a God who is moved by our tears?" The book begins with God in heaven. By chapter 38, He’s with Job. He’s not the god of the magic wand, but the God who enters personally into our suffering and works grace.

Card I got to have lunch with him, to talk about the slave metaphor in Bible, the topic of the book he’s working on. The sadness was that I didn’t get to go to his concert, though Sherry did.

On a more personal note: I’ve done the third weekend of my Interfacing Science and Theology class. It’s been a great time to catch up on Quantum Mechanics from my friend and co-teacher, Merritt Quarum.  Sherry’s at Cannon Beach enjoying Cyndee’s apartment while Cyndee is in Kansas City with Elizabeth. I’m preaching at Harvest Community Church in Hillsboro tomorrow.