Euchre Of A Different Breed

Remember the Euchre Club I mentioned we were a part of?  It’s been a while since I was able to participate in it, due to work schedules and summer “busyness” that other couples in the group had also experienced.

Well, one of them had the bright idea of “dressing up” for this one since it’s the weekend of Halloween.  Some of us were fairly keen on the idea, while others were more or less forced to participate.  The card-playing itself was pretty good (although we all felt a little “off our game” since it had been so long since we’d played).  But certainly the highlight was seeing how everyone had decided to dress for the occasion…..

Let’s start with my wife and I.  We didn’t want to actually dress up, so  she had the idea of sending a message through matching t-shirts.  Here’s what she decided on (if you’re not familiar with the message they send, I’m sure you’ve got some connections that can fill you in):

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Jason and Patty drove with us (I imagine you can figure out who they dressed up as, but if a hint is needed, think “insurance”):

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Kevin and Lori followed us over.  If you’re not from Ohio, you may not know the significance of what they’re wearing, but I believe you’ll figure it out:

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Then, when we arrived at Brad & Stephanie’s, guess what we saw walk out their door?  This:

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How about that??  Is that a coincidence?  Might be a subliminal message to change insurance companies.  Well, we went ahead and ate because the other two couples were apparently lost and were going to be late.  I didn’t see when they arrived, but when I heard laughter erupt from the front living room, I knew something was amiss.  Yup….Craig and Stacey had arrived….as a hillbilly and a poop emoji (no, those are not his real teeth and that’s not poop on her face):

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Shortly after they arrived, everyone witnessed the most amazing transformation of any couple there when the arrival of Kerry and Stefanie occurred.  Of course, you need to first realize the uniqueness of Kerry’s personality and what makes him so “par for the course”.  This is the same individual who took it upon himself to dress up like “Cousin Eddie” from the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” on one of our many camping trips (complete with a can of root beer in his hand):

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So, as our eyes began to burn from the image we were seeing, he showed up as “trailer trash” with his wife dressing the part as well, cans-for-curlers and all:

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Yes, that’s a pair of underwear that he’s wearing for a top.  (You can’t see it in the picture, but he even went so far as to have yellow pee stains on the front [where he stashed his pen and cigar] and a “skid mark” on his backside from….well, you know.)  Stefanie’s strapless jumper still had straps from her pink bra and Kerry’s name was stenciled like a cheap tattoo across her upper chest.  We were all shocked and amazed and impressed, all at once, all night long.

Quite befitting (although in real life this is a special couple who is very dear to us) and definitely the most memorable of anything or anyone we saw that night.

Things I Don’t Understand

Good day to you, my friend!

I am going to give you some time to get caught up on those stories I was mentioning to you.  In the meantime, I found myself thinking about some things.  Some things that I don’t understand.

Observations.  How often do you make them?  Probably all the time and without even realizing what you’re observing.  Then it hits you.  Things like:  Why do people come off the production floor at work and immediately wash their hands (and quite thoroughly at that), then proceed to use the bathroom and then immediately head for the cafeteria when they’re finished?  I’m thinking to myself, He just washed, he’s touched himself in nasty places to use the bathroom facilities and now he’s loose somewhere in the cafeteria touching who-knows-what with those hands?!  Disgusting!!

That, of course, leads to bigger questions in the workplace.  Questions like, “Why do they tell us associates that they’re on our side and looking out for us and then do things and implement policies that clearly show they really aren’t?”  Things that actually set the associates up to fail.  That doesn’t breed trust in your employer or in the work you do for them either.  And yet, amazingly, they wonder why there’s so many issues with morale and people constantly quitting….

Let’s go up to the national level:  Why do our country’s politicians think that we’re idiots and won’t be able to see through the lies and schemes that they have in motion?  Even more relevant is why do we continue to put up with it?  No names, no positions being stated here.  Just honest questions that we all should be asking–ourselves and those above us who can do something about it.

Food for thought.

Let Me Tell You A Tale

If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that we’ve been heading a certain direction for quite awhile now.  Maybe you have only just begun to “walk in my snowshoes” with me.  If that’s you, then you need to know that there’s something happening here you’re not going to want to miss.  It will be well worth your time to scroll all the way down to the bottom of my blog and read upwards from there.  The order of these stories and such has been very intentional.  You’ll laugh a lot, but you’ll also begin to pick up on something:   The more you read, the more you will see that a picture of sorts is being painted before you–also quite intentional. (If you just can’t make the time to do that, type “Journey” into the search box and that will give you a bird’s-eye view of what I’m talking about here.  It won’t do justice to getting the full experience, but you’ll get an idea of where we are at this point.)  Of course, if you’ve been with me for a while–especially from the very first step taken together as we walked out that door into the unknown–I’m sure I’m telling you something that you already know!

So why tell you all that?  Well, I have known for about a week now that the time has come for me to tell you “the rest of the story”.  You see, I know what you’re in for and I want you to get the full picture of where we are right now on this journey together before we strike out in that direction.

So get a fire in the fireplace going, pull up a couple of comfy chairs and make sure your snowshoes are at the ready.  I’ll bring mine and coffee for two and then….I’ll tell you a tale!

Where No Tree Has Gone Before

There’s an older couple that goes to our church who live just outside of town.  I was over there recently and was reminded of a very unique tree that he has.

It’s a very old pear tree with a trunk that’s a good foot or so in diameter and a height of twelve to fifteen feet.  “What’s the big deal about a pear tree?”, you may ask.  This tree is unique because it has nothing growing in the center of it!  Here….take a look:

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As you can see, this tree literally has nothing but its bark supporting it and keeping it alive.  And yet, it lives!  It produces fruit every year and has been like this for years.

Clarence (the owner of the property this tree sits on) said that when he discovered this so many years ago, the Lord spoke something to him.  He said to Clarence, “Even if the center is rotten, you can still find good fruit.”

Thought-provoking.  Until next time!….

Stepping Into The Unknown

My family and I have never been in the place we are right now.  Uncharted territory!  Exciting.  And unnerving.  It’s uncomfortable for sure.  Stretching us in every way imaginable, it seems.

But where do you think you find God and His help?  Where it’s comfortable and safe?  Or where it’s dangerous and requires faith?  I’ll bet you already know the answer to that.  Me too.  Namely because that is exactly where I have been finding Him the most:  out where it’s dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are times that you need a reprieve, times when comfort and safety are a necessity for soul-rest.  So obviously, God is in that as well.  But we aren’t to live there.  And that’s where many of us get hung up:  We don’t want to give up that comfort and safety (after all, it feels good to be in a place like that, doesn’t it?).  Out of those two places we can live, where do you think God spends most of His time?

Where it’s dangerous.

Where faith is required on our part.  Why?  We were created in His image; we reflect Him.  So we are never more alive than when we are living out our “dangerous” faith, desperate for Him to show up and just as confident that He will.  And He does!  Every time.  Because when we’re living out in the unknown, we find that this is also where God is.  And then, to our amazement, we find that He has been waiting for us there all along.  Patient.  And so loving.  I believe it pleases Him greatly when we choose to live our lives like that!  Very little in life  is more satisfying than being in that place of desperate faith and watching Him show up!

So what about you?  Is there something He has been pulling on you to do or pursue and you’ve been too fearful to do anything about it?  Will you choose to step out in faith and trust Him to meet you there?    Watch Him show up for you!