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Renewal Day:30 - Backyard Meanderings

I can't believe that it's been a month since the renewal has begun. As I suspected it is going very quickly but so far I'm doing great. Feeling more and more relaxed each day and excited to see what's around the corner. Here is a conglomeration of things that have happened since our return from Arizona.

Shot in the Dark

Ok so I'm glad to report that on March 8th Diane and I received our first COVID-vaccine shot. Our 2nd is set for April 16th. This whole vaccine debate has been interesting to follow. Quite frankly I don't quite understand why one would not get the shot seeing that it will decrease the chance of getting the COVID. I say that fully respecting those who choose to not take the vaccine. But as a baby boomer who can still find the polio scar on my shoulder, and who grew up taking vaccines as regularly as going to the dentist (Both of which I'd rather pass on but know better), my experience says taking the vaccine is the wiser choice. I remember as a class in grade school filing out alphabetically ("W" was always at the end of the line) we'd walk orderly in a single file to the lunch room where we'd get our vaccine... TB... small pox... Rubella... polio. I was taught that this was a good thing as it proved overwhelmingly in research that there was a risk but it was so insignificant and a risk worth taking. The odds were in my favor to take the vacinne. Then came the voice of resistance... "I know my right's! I have freedom to choose! I choos to NOT take the vaccine." Those who choose not to take if are in full right to do so and I respect that. But soon after it became the popular thing to be suspicious of all vaccines along came the fear and idea that it just may be a conspiracy by the government. After all if Small Pox is cured why then do the United States and Russian governments still keep viles of live active virus on hand in their research stock piles??? Valid point. Now we live in an era where there is a suspicion around every corner and it's the popular thing to be suspect, even to the point where common sense flies out the window. This is just my opinion. Right or wrong. I'm left still respecting peoples choice. But I still don't get it.

Anyway, Diane and I are so glad that we have a second round coming up. We will still wear our facemasks when instructed (seems like a very small price to pay given that since we've been wearing masks colds, flu, and sickness have alluded us.

You are now entering the Twilight Zone

They say once our kids fly the nest parents still have to care for them. I can testify this to be true, as my son Stephen called me last week and asked a favor. He had just bought a new telescope on eBay and was so excited. He wanted me to help him pick it up. But there was a catch... the telescope was in Alabama. So.... being the good parent I am, I told him I'd go with him to pick it up. It was suppose to be a quick 10-hrs down... 10-hrs back type of trip where we alternated driving. And it was all going well with grandson Aaron along for the ride, until we got to East St Louis. Stephen's car broke down and unfortunately it wasn't as easy as a quick flat tire change. Oil pressure warning came on with bells, whistles, and flashing lights telling us to stop RIGHT NOW! S0 we did just that. We took the first exit and found ourselves in East St Louis at 2pm - (TWILIGHT ZONE). We weren't in Iowa anymore. We limped to an Autozone and walked in for some help. It was the rough part of town as all the buildings had bars on the windows for security. No one we encountered was white like us. We began to sense what it was like to be in the minority. Everyone was friendly, or at least to themselves so we were good.

Long story short we soon realized we weren't going to make it to Alabama with this car. So we headed to Enterprise and rented a car to continue our trip. Before we could we had to get Stephen's car towed. After a 3.5 hour wait for the tow truck to get there we were more than ready to get back on the road. Between my AAA auto membership, Stephen's car insurance, and a deal from the tow truck driver we were able to get the car towed back to Kirksville, Walmart parking lot - 135 miles back from where we came.

Finally we were back on the road at 9:55pm. 7 hours behind schedule. We arrived at the destination in northern Alabama at 4am, slept until 6:15. Picked up the scope and were back on the road. We found the car right where we were told it would be left and the really bad news was the fix was to be several thousand dollars. That was one Twilight Zone experience we hope to never repeat.

I have to be honest here though, on two occasions I was approached by a homeless person who needed a little help and was asking for cash to get them by. I declined on two accounts. One, I had no cash on me, and second I learned years ago there's a fine line between helping someone out and enabling them by handing over cash that could just as easily go towards supporting a habit or buying a 5th of liquor. But I have to say, on both accounts I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Had God sent this person to me? Was I suppose to help them out? I could have been more creative in addressing the situation. I guess I'll find out when I meet my maker on this one.

So now we turn our focus on our next adventure, a trip to North Carolina to spend some time with my sister, Brenda. Diane and I are both looking forward to it. On our way back home, we plan to see "THE ARK" which is a life size rendition of Noah's ark. Then it's off to Plymouth Indiana where we hope to get a chance to visit some friends who use to live in Atlantic back when I pastored there. Looking forward to catching up.

My prayer station for the day

My most recent event was the personal 24 hour retreat offered by the Region for Minister's Institute. Wow what a meaningful retreat it was. A solo event where we were offered several ways to pray. I'll have to share more about this when I return, but suffice it to say there's too much to share to give it justice in this BLOG. God met me at a deeper level than I've known in a long, LONG time. It was glorious.


Until next time!


Love, in Christ - your pastor, brother, and friend.

See you on the journey my friends - PJ.



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