Plymouth oak leaves in Afghanistan

Kathee pressed them (from oak tree in back yard) and sent them to Roger. Roger hung in bunk area and took photo to send us (w post card from his sister)


730 Stinson Boulevard 403

730 Stinson Boulevard 403

Comment: Tomorrow's open house. Hennepin Co tax ID 1302924410132. The old Cream of Wheat building.


Cell phones on planes ... this could be an actual conversation

Goodbye, Peace And Quiet: Hello, Phone Calls On Planes?

Window seat 737 row 8: Cell phone passenger # 1: [speaking loudly]: "I'm on a plane!"

Middle seat: Cell phone passenger # 2: [speaking loudly]: "Speak up! The guy next to me is shouting into his phone!"

Row seat [women with baby]: Cell phone passenger # 3: [speaking loudly]: "The guy shouting next to me woke up the baby! I can't hear you!"

Row seat: Cell phone passenger # 4: [speaking even louder]: "There's a screaming baby in my ear! Can't hear you!"

Comment: I would rather have snakes on a plane!


Endless Afghanistan? .... "until the end of 2024 and beyond"

US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely


Afghanistan would allow Washington to operate military bases to train Afghan forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda after the current mission ends in 2014. For that foothold in this volatile mountain region wedged between Pakistan and Iran, the United States would agree to sustain and equip Afghanistan's large security force, which the government in Kabul currently cannot afford. The deal, according to the text, would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and “shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond.” It could be terminated by either Washington or Kabul with two years advance written notice.
Comment: Yikes!


What is a Steward?

  1. Greek: οἰκονόμος (noun): (From οἶκος (house) + νόμος (law)): the manager of household or of household affairs:
    1. “ a steward, manager, superintendent to whom the head of the house or proprietor has entrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures”
    2. “the manager of a farm or landed estate, an overseer”
    3. “the superintendent of the city's finances, the treasurer of a city” (Romans 6:23, “Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you”
    4. Companion word (Noun): οἰκονομία = “the management of a household or of household affairs” (eg 1 Corinthians 9:17, “For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship”
  2. Examples in New Testament:
    1. Luke 12:42,43, “And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.”
    2. Luke 16:1-3-ff, “He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.”
    3. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful”
    4. 1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”
  3. The key principle of stewardship = “it is not ours!”
  4. Of what is the Christian a steward?
    1. Life! Life is a gift. God is the giver of life. We belong to Him and our times are in His hands!
      • Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and have our being”
      • Romans 14:8, “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore ,whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s”
      • Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service”
    2. Time:
      • Ephesians 5:16, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
      • 2 Timothy 4:6, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand” (demonstrates that Paul cognizant of)
      • “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Four times in Hebrews – chapters 3 & 4)
      • Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”
    3. Treasure: What we earn … how we spend, save, and bestow it
    4. Talent and giftedness (1 Peter 4 context is spiritual gifts!)
      • Natural abilities
      • Developed areas giftedness: (music, speaking, administration, et cetera)
      • Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14 & Romans 12)/ 1 Corinthians 12:8, “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. … “
    5. The gospel and gospel opportunities (appointments!) (1 Corinthians 4 passage).
Comment: Part of Adult Bible Fellowship lesson for this coming Lord's Day


Condo shopping: 212 N 1st Street, Minneapolis

212 N 1st Street, Minneapolis

Comments: We've been looking at condos on and off for about 2 years. Starting to ramp it up a bit. Today after church we dropped in on this open house. Very nice.

Others we have looked at:

  • Rock Island Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Security Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Itasca Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Cream of Wheat Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • The Ivy (Minneapolis)
  • IMS Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Humboldt Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Lindsey Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Stone Arch Lofts (Minneapolis)
  • Great Northern Lofts (Saint Paul)
  • River Park Lofts (Saint Paul)

A nice loft and condo directory is available at yoururbanlife.com
We use edinarealty.com to look for open houses.
Ray Klotz is our realtor. At the appropriate time we intend to have Ray be our selling and buying realtor


Boulder wants to buy out Xcel and have their own municipal utility

Boulder votes in landslide against Xcel attempt to block longterm clean-energy plan


City residents here voted in a landslide in the election that ended Tuesday to move forward with a plan to buy out Xcel Energy and run their own electric system. The vote and the coming potential buyout are part of a larger pathbreaking plan gaining attention around the world to majorly ramp up use of renewables by pushing aside what many here see as a genetic hesitation on the part of Xcel to do the same. Xcel is a major regional power company that has moved toward renewables steadily in Colorado, but mostly just to meet standards set by the state. Xcel’s Boulder critics say it’s a company that has long done the bulk of its business hand in hand with the coal industry and that is tied to fossil fuels more generally through official partnerships, tacit agreements and institutional stasis.
Comment: Big mistake! But as an Xcel stockholder I will appreciate the cash


That Fateful Day - "America lost its innocence"

Vanity Fair recently reported on a new spate of books about John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I understand nearly 40,000 books about JFK have been published. Amazon currently lists over 35,000 available titles including nearly 7,000 that deal with his assassination.

I was 11 years old when JFK was elected & inaugurated and 14 when he was assassinated. I was just awakening politically when I was 11, I had followed the election somewhat closely - thanks to Newsweek and Life magazines to which my parents subscribed. Our school had mock debates and mock election. He campaigned in Cincinnati on October 6, 1960.

Additionally his heroics surrounding PT-109 was before us. There was a popular Jimmy Dean song by that title, a book that I had read, and a film that was released in June of 1963. Additionally I had a Revel 1/72th scale plastic model of PT-109.

  • Jimmy Dean PT-109 lyrics / YouTube
    In '43 they Set to sea 13 men and Kennedy Aboard the PT 109 To fight the Brazen enemy On the isle of ol lusana in the strait beyond nehru A Jap deatroyer in the night Cut the '109 in two.

    CHORUS: Smokin fire upon the sea Everywhere they looked was the enemy the heathen gods of old Japan Yeah, the thought they had the best of a mighty good man

    On the coast, commanderos, lookin thru this periscope Australian niven saw the battle For the crew had little hope two were dead, some were wounded, all were clinging to the bow Fightin fire, fightin water, trying to save their lives somehow.

    CHORUS: Smokin fire upon the sea Everywhere they looked was the enemy the heathen Gods of old Japan Yeah, the thought they had the best of a mighty good man

    Mac Me hun, the irishman, was burned so badly he couldn't swim leave me here, go on he said, cause if you don't we'll all be dead the PT's skipper wouldn't leave him, a man to die alone at sea with his strap, between his teeth, he towed the irishman to the sea.

    CHORUS: Smokin fire upon the sea everywhere they looked was the enemy the heathen gods of old Japan they thought they had the best of a mighty good man

    He led his men thru water's Dark rocky reefs and hungry skarks braved the enemy's bayonets a .38 around his neck 4 more days, 4 more nights, a recue boat pulled into sight the PT 109 was gone, but Kennedy and his crew lived on So who could Guess, and who could possibly know that this same man named Kennedy, would, be the leader of a nation, be the one to take command, the PT 109 was gone but Kennedy lived to fight again, Smokin fire upon the sea, Everywhere they looked was the enemy, but JFK and his crew lived on, which proves it's hard to get get the best of a man named John Big John Big John Big John
  • The book:

Key events from his presidency left an impression upon me:

The Timeline of his Texas trip:
  1. Interestingly the 1963 calendar matches the 2013 calendar. 11/22 was and is a Friday and Thanksgiving was and is to be on Thursday 11/28
  2. Thursday November 21st, 1963:
  3. Friday November 22nd, 1963:
    • Fort Worth: The day started out cold and rainy. In an impromptu outdoor speech he said “There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth...”
    • Fort Worth: Chamber of Commerce breakfast speech at Hotel Texas.
    • Short flight in Air Force 1 (Boeing 707) from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth to Love Field in Dallas
    • And then the fateful motorcade with his destination the Texas Trade Mart for a luncheon speech
    • Planned: Austin: Fundraising dinner speech at Municipal Auditorium.
    • Planned: Johnson City: Weekend of relaxation at Lyndon Johnson's ranch.
  4. The assassin’s bullet:
    • Shots fired at 12:30 p.m. Central. The President hit
    • Mrs. Kennedy said, "I have his brains in my hand!"
    • Agent Clint Hill jumped onto the back of the Presidential limousine, shielding the President and Mrs Kennedy with his body. En route to the hospital, he flashed a "thumbs-down" signal and shook his head from side to side at the agents in the follow-up car, signaling the graveness of the President's condition.
    • Motorcade arrived at Parkland Hospital at 12:38
    • 12:45 pm CST: Dallas ABC news affiliate announced:  “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You'll excuse the fact that I am out of breath, but about 10 or 15 minutes ago a tragic thing from all indications at this point has happened in the city of Dallas. Let me quote to you this [briefly looks at the bulletin sheet in his left hand], and I'll...you'll excuse me if I am out of breath. A bulletin, this is from the United Press from Dallas: (Reading UPI bulletin) 'President Kennedy and Governor John Connally [in his agitated state, he mispronounced Connally's name as "Colony"] have been cut down by assassins' bullets in downtown Dallas
    • At 12:40 pm CST/1:40 pm EST. The CBS network interrupted its live broadcast of As the World Turnswith a "CBS News Bulletin" bumper slide and Walter Cronkite filed an audio-only report over it as no camera was available at the time
    • At 1:00 pm CST, after a priest administered the last rites, President Kennedy was pronounced dead
    • 1:33 pm.: Acting White House press secretary Malcolm Kilduff announced: “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 CST today, here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound to the brain.”
    • 1:38: A CBS News employee seen in the background pulled off a sheet from the AP News ticker. He quickly relayed it (off-camera) to Cronkite, who put on his glasses, took a few seconds to read the sheet, and made the announcement: “From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official: [reading AP flash] 'PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED AT 1 P.M. (CST),' 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some thirty-eight minutes ago.”
  5. Probably everyone over 60 has a story about "where they were"
    • Wikipedia notes that "The news shocked the nation. Men and women wept openly. People gathered in department stores to watch the television coverage, while others prayed. Traffic in some areas came to a halt as the news spread from car to car. Schools across the U.S. dismissed their students early ... The event left a lasting impression on many Americans. As with the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor before it and the September 11, 2001 attacks after it, asking "Where were you when you heard about Kennedy's assassination?" would become a common topic of discussion".
    • I was in study hall at Oak Hills High School
    • An announcement was made that the President had been shot
    • Shortly thereafter an announcement was made that the President had been killed
    • School was dismissed early and I returned home on the schoolbus
    • There was a palatable sense of grief – seemingly universal: "In those big-three-network days (ABC, CBS, NBC), television was broadcast mostly in black and white, and the images of the coverage that followed—the riderless horse, John-John’s salute as his father’s casket went by, Jacqueline Kennedy’s mourning veil … - bled into our consciousness like irremovable ink.” Vanity Fair
  6. How did the Kennedy assassination change America?
    • In a recent panel discussion on this topic, Bob Schieffer declared "I think it was the weekend that changed America ... America lost its innocence" *
    • For many, their view of America changed for the negative: "New York Times columnist James Reston, the dean of American journalism, said Kennedy’s assassination was a symptom of a sick society. The distinguished historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., an aide in the Kennedy White House, said that Kennedy’s death was evidence that America was an overly violent society. " *
    • There was vast skepticism about the conclusions of the Warren Report and indeed conspiracy theories continue to abound.
    • George Will notes that the Kennedy assassination changed liberalism: "Hitherto a doctrine of American celebration and optimism, liberalism would now become a scowling indictment: Kennedy was killed by America's social climate whose sickness required "punitive liberalism." "
  7. Reflections on the 50th anniversary of his assassination:
    • It continues to resonate for me as a tragedy at a personal level: a young wife witnesses the murder of her husband; her children stand beside her at the funeral 
    • It reminds me of the need to pray for our country and for our leadership. No one wants to see a Presidency end with an assassination! 1 Timothy 2:1-3, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior". In Proverbs we are reminded that God establishes rulers, "By me kings reign" (8:14-16). And in Daniel 2:21, "And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings"

The Wisdom of Hard Work

  1. Work is not the curse
    • Adam was fully employed prior to the Fall: Genesis 2:15, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it”
    • The curse: Genesis 3:17-19, “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground”
  2. God worked / rested
    • Genesis 2:1-2, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done”
    • The work / rest cycle is divinely ordained: “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.” (Exodus 23:12) (Plus multiple other references)
  3. Work is commended / slack is condemned
    • RBP: “The Book of Proverbs does not pursue its subjects in a systematic or organized way. Thus the references to diligence and laziness punctuate the book” (Quarterly)
    • Proverbs:
      • 10:4-5, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame”; 26“As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy man to those who send him”
      • 12:24,27, “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor” … “The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession”
      • 13:4,11, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” … “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase”
      • 14:23, “In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty”
      • 15:19, “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway”
      • 20:4, “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.”
      • 21:5, 25, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” … “The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor”
      • 22:29, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.”
      • 24:30-34, “I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man”
      • 26:13-16, “The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. 15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly”
    • New Testament perspective:
      • 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (KJV). (“Infidel” is ἄπιστος, “without faith;” in ESV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, “an unbeliever.”)
      • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away
      • 1 Corinthians 7:33-34, “But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife”
      • Ephesians 4:28, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
      • 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you”
      • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies”
      • 1 Timothy 5:16, “If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows”
      • 3 John 2, ” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”
    • On work and working:
      • Because we have a material aspect (we are body and spirit), we have material needs. God knows that we have these material needs!
      • John the Apostle prayed that disciples would prosper spiritually, physically, and materially (3 John 2). Yet the reality is that Christians do struggle in all of these elements!
      • One who fails to provide for his own is called in the KJV an “infidel.”
      • It’s perfectly normal to seek to meet material needs (called “the things of the world” in 1 Cor. 7).
      • Some in the church should be paid—1 Timothy 5:18, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” and 1 Corinthians 9:14, “those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”
      • Others should not be a financial burden to the church. Children are to care for parents in financial need (1 Tim. 5:16). Others may need financial assistance from time to time but they should not be chronic non-workers who depend upon the church.
      • We are to work to live and have basic needs meet. Christians are not to be materialistic, greedy getters of as much as we might be able to attain!
  4. Final observations
    • Each generation builds upon the wealth of a previous generation (example of Mayflower pilgrims … working soil with rudimentary hand tools … today I would go out and buy a rototiller!)
    • Our culture has a problem with not working. Some do not want to work. Some government programs (intended as a safety net) encourage non-work
    • God calls us to provide for self, not be a burden to society or the church, provide for the needs of the ministry and meet genuine needs of the poor
Comment: Outline of my SS lesson for our upcoming ABF class. Image: Working on the transcontinental railroad (1865). Image source . Observations not a part of my SS class:

  • When I view images of men laboring by hand, I realize that what I consider 'hard work' just does not compare!
  • For a number of reasons I labor with my mind. One because I am handicapped. I literally could not do hard physical labor. 
  • I pray I would complain less about work! And praise the Lord for providing a job for me where: I can use my mind, be paid well, have all of my needs met and then some!