I have a co-worker that can be counted on to complain about almost anything and everything. Almost everyday, they arrive with curses and complaints about someone cutting them off or some “idiot” that did something to them. I kid them and welcome them with “Hello sunshine.” It really is our decision what we do with what happens to us. We can choose to accentuate the positive or dwell on the negative. I hear the doom and gloom spilling out of the tv and remember I have a loving wife and a job. I have good health. My son may play his music loud in his room, but he is home and not a runaway. I may have bills, but fortunately I don’t have bill collectors banging on my door. I may not live in a mansion, but I have a roof over my head and utilities that work. I am not homeless and have food to eat. I remember doing mission work in the mountains of Mexico and seeing how grateful the people of the village were. They had dirt floors and drafty dwellings. Their church was made up of rocks and the pews were nothing more than 2 x 4s, but they were happy. Philippians 4:11 says ” I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” For the majority of our 19 years togehter, we were vagabonds for Jesus. One year in Kempner, TX after we got married. Two years in Dallas, TX for bible school school. Four years in Aledo, TX as youth pastors. Three years in Tulsa, OK for college at ORU. Four years in Wilmore, KY for seminary and then work. We now have a place we aren’t renting and though it isn’t our dream home, it’s ours. We may have a teenager that can be moody or rude at times, but he is also principled and willing to go against the crowd when he thinks they are wrong. I am grateful to the Lord for the life he has given me and the wonderful things in my life.
Thanks to the winter rains, the Mojave Desert is pretty green right now. Grasses and wildflowers have begun to spring forth. Where we live in Apple Valley, the normally brown dirt is now covered with yellow and purple wildflowers. It almost looks like someone spilled a tanker truck of yellow paint in some areas. Additionally at our house, the California poppies are multiplying with each day that passes. On the drive to work in Barstow, the hills and valleys are green with the fresh grass. I suppose that means I will needs to do a little mowing and weed trimming this weekend to keep the growth in check before it gets to high. I hope this doesn’t turn for the worse once everything begins to dry out. What looks pretty today will be kindling for brush fires once dried out.
If you are planning to attend the Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 23-26, you will have to get individual day passes. The 4 day passes sold out since yesterday. We checked the site on Monday and they were at 80%, yesterday afternoon they were at 96% and today they are at 100% sold out. Fortunately we purchased our passes already so we are all set. We went last year for a day and had an interesting time. It is something worth checking out at least once in your life. Jesse enjoyed it so much, we got 4 day passes for this years. He even wants to dress up for it. Renee and I will go, but no dressing up. You get to see all the new movies coming out as well as TV shows and video games. We were going to stand in line for the Heroes session, but the line wrapped all the way around the convention center and all the way to Seaport Village. I refuse to camp out to see things. I will stand in line, but not for hours. We came home with all kinds of schwag – t-shirts, posters, stickers, etc. for shows and movies like Heroes, Lost, GI Joe, Star Trek, Star Wars and more.
A month with no blogging and now twice in a week. Go figure. On the 13th, we celebrated Renee’s birthday. I got her a Bluebell T-shirt and plush since we don’t have any Bluebell Ice Cream in CA. We took her to Mimi’s Cafe for dinner and then had some cake and ice cream when we got home.
Her parents arrived from TX the following Sunday and then the rain came down. We ended up taking them to the Route 66 museum in Victorville on President’s day. We drove Route 66 to Barstow and ate at Idle Spurs. The next night, Renee and I celebrated our 19th anniversary with her parents at Dinapoli’s Firehouse in Apple Valley. A few days at the house was enough for her folks so I took the rest of the week off to drive them around. On Thursday we went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. We even got back through Cajon Pass before traffic got bad. On Friday, we went to Calico Ghost Town and stopped for an early dinner at Rosita’s. Saturday we drove them to the airport and I caught my pinky in the door as we unloaded. OUCH! I quickly wrapped it in some napkins and we saw them to the terminal.
On the 24th, I got older. Enough said. Renee insisted we go to dinner so we went to Mama Carpino’s in Apple Valley. Last weekend, Jesse and his youth group went to camp in the San Bernardino Mountains. With him gone, Renee and I enjoyed some Chinese food which he doesn’t like and finished her Columbo DVD. If you want to see any photos, join Facebook and friend us.
March 10th is the birthday of our dear friend and sister Julie. Our relationship with Julie began online as Renee helped her plan a chat. After that day in December 2000, we struck up an ongoing dialog and friendship. We e-mailed, sent photos and exchanged letters/gifts through the mail. We found out she was fighting cancer and stood with her in faith and prayer. She passed one milestone after another as doctor after doctor predicted the end was near. She kept outliving their predictions and we kept praising God.
When we moved to California in 2003, she came to attend classes at UCLA from France and we met for the first time. We spent the day in Westwood hanging out and enjoying each others company. This was the first of several visits between then and November 2005. When we purchased our own home, after years of renting due to our vagabond for Jesus lives, we made our guest room into the Julie Suite complete with a palm tree mural and surfboard desk/end table. During her visits we made trips to see Medieval Times, an Angels baseball game, Universal Studios, Joel Osteen, Santa Monica, Sea World, Rosita’s restaurant, and many to Disneyland, her favorite place in the world. She was not feeling well on one trip and apologized to me and I reminded her that “a bad day with Julie at Disneyland is better than a good day without her.”
Since December, we have not heard a word from her and her family. I had hoped by now that we would have. We continue to pray and believe good things for her. We miss hearing from her and still consider her part of our family. Until we see or hear from you again Julie, we wish you a happy birthday and know that the Julie Suite awaits you.