G'ampa C's Blog

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Is It Just an Age Thing?

It was a beautiful sunrise this morning.
I have been thinking how good it will be to celebrate the Sonrise with my church family today.
The older I get, the more importatnt and rich that becomes, the more I am drawn to my brothers and sisters, the more I think of fellowship being a walk with Jesus. Is that an age thing?
We are in the process of forming a men's ministry at church, where we share and confess and celebrate. It has been rich and powerful, and God is working there. Everyone in the group is in the 45+ age, even though all are welcome. Is it an age thing? Or is it that the cooking pot of life has tenderized us old geezers so we can be open to the breaking down of walls and sharing?

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Grand Memory

Mike's list of places he'd like to visit brought back a memory of mine.

Four years ago, we took our summer trip to the Grand Canyon. We camped on the North Rim in the National Forest for several days and then on the South Rim, also in the National Forest (remote, free, and primitive-- a good combination).
One morning my nephews and I got started early to hike down into the canyon below the South Rim and back. When we were well down in the canyon, and the steep trail had flattened out, we departed from the trail heading west and went out on the edge of a cliff where water ran and spilled off the bluff when it rained. We stopped for lunch there on a bald bluff with lots of iron mineralization, and dangled our feet over a 200 foot cliff looking down on the tops of tall slim trees growing up in the narrow gorge. The rocks looked as if they had been burned over and over, almost melted to a glassy texture in places. There were huge sections of rock in the little gorge, and we spent some time rock climbing and looking around. Then, we turned around and headed back. Going down was easy, coming back was not.
When we got to the switchback part of the trail several hundred feet below the rim, I was plumb tuckered. The boys had to wait for me every few minutes, so we stopped often. Then an event happened which I will never forget. A high desert thunderstorm floated in from the southeast just as it was forming, and settled into the canyon. We had no clue it was there until it drifted out over the rim. It was not more than a couple miles in diameter, and its southern basal edge was on eye level with us less than a few hundred yards out over the canyon. It rained on us a little, and we just scooted back under the overhanging ledge and squatted down to wait it out. (No room to just sit.) Once the little cloud got out over the canyon, it slowed nearly to a stop and began the most remarkable lightning show I have ever witnessed. For one thing, we were almost at eye level with the base of the cloud and the bolts were sometimes less than 500 yards from us. Some were spindly, spider-web things which sizzled through the air. Some were huge, fat bolts which physically shook us, the rocks and everything when they hit the canyon floor. The big ones seemed to pulse from ground to cloud many times before they disappeared. We could literally feel the heat from them on our faces, as or just before the shock wave of air hit. Those made us hold our fingers in our ears they were so loud. At first I was distressed that we might get killed by one, but we all knew there was no way to move and nothing we could do. All of us looked at each other at the same time, and we all knew in that moment that we were in the hands of God. Then I had a sense, somehow, that we were safe. The boys began trying to get pictures, but they didn't come out. Then we noticed something.
As the cloud quit sprinkling on us, we could look almost straight down probably no more than a mile to the rock ledge where we ate lunch. It was clearly visible, a bald stretch of bluff a hundred feet wide and two hundred feet long. That was where most of the lightning was striking the ground, over and over. The cloud was discharging into the iron mineralized rock. After that, we watched in awed silence as God showed us his power. The Old Testament text of Moses being engulfed in the lightning and storm and cloud on Mt. Sinai came to mind. We were given our own personal showing of the Glory of God.
The cloud began to drift north, but even when it was almost over to the North Rim, lightning kept coming back to that bald bluff again and again. We were all speechless for many minutes after it drifted away and the setting sun showed steam rising from the spot where we had dangled our feet off the cliff. We discovered later that the clouds and the canyon rim blocked the view of the Glorious show from everyone up on top, and we may have been the only witnesses.
That day, I saw a new perspective of the heavens declaring the Glory of God, and the firmament showing his handiwork. We were in the presence of the Creator.....and safe.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


I had a long talk last night with a dear friend. What a blessing it is to relax in the presence of someone you love and who loves you back.
When I really think about friends like that, I wonder how they come to be. What draws me close to one person and not another? I can't really say why I make a dear friend out of one attempt and miss on another. The friend I talked with last night is not particularly like me, but we have shared in some rough times together. Is that part of it?
I think maybe what makes good friends out of friends is the Spirit working through us as we share. Sharing blessings and burdens, as God intended. There is also an element of agape in there, the sense that I will treat you with love and you will treat me with love, no matter what happens. That is something which must be earned with time.
I wonder how many great friendships I have missed for a lack of time?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This past Sunday I shared my Dad's eulogy with the 9 or so men who met at the church building for the men's ministry. That is something I have never been able to do before, and it was somehow liberating. I guess that was a private place for me and I never could include others in the pain of missing Daddy. I am at peace with his death, but not the ending of his life. (The shrinks would have fun with that one...)
He was a good, simple, humble man who always did what he could for others.
He was never lazy, never wasteful, never out of control. To be considered like him would be no small compliment.
What a great statement of life:
To live in a way that everyone was grieving your departure but no one questioned where you had gone.