Monthly Archives: June 2018

Travel & Spiritual Growth

Travel is a part of my life, especially since being led to a career as an airline pilot. I’ve thought from time to time about sharing some of those travel experiences on this blog, but decided against it until now concerned it might distract from the main message. And it might appear I’m bragging?

I’ve no more concern about that! It’s a hobby I enjoy because it refocuses me on life and living in the present. One can also learn a lot about people, cultures, history, themselves, and God through travel. It seems to enlarge our spirits and inspire our souls with mystery, beauty, wonder, and adventure. These are some of the things it does for me, and I hope for some of you too.

Last year was a banner travel year for me as I visited Alaska, Montana, Korea, Africa, Honduras, Greenland, and Iceland. Most of the photo work is done and accessible on the web, so I decided to launch out and share some of these travels with you in hopes it will inspire and motivate you to enjoy your life and consider it an adventure with the Lord. Maybe it will refresh your spirit with images of beauty and thoughts of mystery? Reignite your passion for exploring and living? If it does any of that, I will feel good about sharing!

What pushed me over the edge this week was a quote I discovered by St. Augustine, the most influential theologian in the first one thousand years of church history.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” Augustine of Hippo

Shortly thereafter I discovered this quote, which is a mantra for me in this chapter of my life, “live life in the present.” There are really only two important days for each of us, [1] today, and [2] that day. Said another way, don’t let undue concern about the past, or the future, rob you of your life today. Or as someone exclaimed, “Put your phone down, and be present to the circumstances and people around you!” 🙂 Ouch!

“Travel at it’s best reminds us to be present where we are.” Waylon Lewis

Travel As An Idol

I’m aware any gift from God can be turned into an idol if your affection for it displaces or becomes more important to you than the Giver. I’m pretty sure travel is not an idol for me. I’m very thankful for the gift and every opportunity. Yet I’m content to never travel again. But if you sense it might be an idol, speak up! I would need to pray about that and consider your insight.

Is Travel Necessary

I don’t consider travel as necessary to life and happiness. Our family is divided on travel. My wife and son really don’t enjoy it unless they are traveling with someone they like, or going to visit family or friends. My daughter and I like travel for travel’s sake — exploring, adventure, beauty, and when with loved ones, all the more! 🙂

I’m even aware there is a dissenting opinion among spiritual giants and church fathers about travel. I already told you what Augustine thought. Thomas ˋa Kempis (1380-1471) one of my favorite authors and Christian mystics who wrote the most published book in the world after the Bible, The Imitation of Christ, said that travel wasn’t desirable nor that beneficial, and I’m still looking hard to find his quote. Until I do, just know there are highly respected people who hold that position. The following will give you insight into his philosophy and his life grounded as it was in Truth and in Christ.

“The more you are at harmony within yourself and become inwardly simple, the more you will understand higher things without effort, for you will receive intellectual light from above.” Thomas á Kempis

With Friends in Greenland

“However, because many endeavor to get knowledge rather than live well, they are often deceived and get no or very little benefits.” Thomas á Kempis

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” Thomas á Kempis

“Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.”
Thomas á Kempis

With a Friend in Iceland sporting our Greenland Caps

“Wherever you go, there you are.”  Thomas á Kempis

So we see travel has two sides, like a coin, or a sword! And how you are led or decide with your free will will determine what path is best for you. Godspeed on your journey.

Whether you travel or not, I hope the commentary and photographs on these travel blogs will bring you joy and stimulate your spirit to adventure in Christ. (Psalm 23/Col 1:27)

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“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

“Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.” Seneca

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” Paulo Coelho

Inside Images Simple and Powerful

Hallgrímskirkja church- Reykjavík – from top view to SE

“Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia.  After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.  So they went on through Mysia until they came to Troas.” Acts 16

[This wildly popular song “Oceans” by Hillsong United describes what travel is to me at the moment; not just exploring my city, state, or planet — but adventuring in the spirit, in relationships, and in life with the Father, Son, and Spirit of Life.]

Blindsided

Thought about your blind side lately? We probably all have one, that we need to be aware of and we do need protection there! That would make a great topic for a post, but not now… 🙂

Instead, do you recall the movie, “The Blindside?” Click here for a short trailer — you’ll be glad you did. 🙂 Not the actor, but the real SJ Tuohy, from the family that adopted Michael Oher the NFL star, will be our guest speaker at the 47th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast July 20th, 2018. The event will be held at the Double Tree Hotel City Center, 700 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas with breakfast starting at 6:15 a.m., and the program beginning at 6:45 a.m..

Frank Lay & Butch Edwards . Servant Leaders

Tickets are $20 per person and available from the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, any CBMC member, or at the door. Hope you can come!

By the way, S.J. Tuohy is also on the  Arkansas Razorbacks Football coaching staff   having made the journey from SMU with new Hog’s head coach Chad Morris. I’m not sure if he’ll talk about the 2018-19 Hogs or not? But it’s possible. 🙂

“Why are you promoting this Dwayne?” you might ask. [1] I missed a recent Wednesday morning CBMC meeting, and in my absence they made me this year’s chairman. (Not really, but it almost happened that way.) And [2] I’m very interested in hearing this very interesting person talk about his life and faith.   I think you will be rewarded as well!

 

Geno, Tom, Butch, Andrew & Larry Help Get the Tickets Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day 2018

First I want to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” to you fathers out there, and I hope you had an enjoyable day. I did. My kids couldn’t make it home, but gifts and cards arrived, and we are scheduled to celebrate the day together in a couple weeks. 🙂

At our local church yesterday, the Bible class teacher, Gary, spoke about our earthly fathers. He honored his own father but was very transparent about some of his failings as a father. He made the point, and I think we all agree, we’re grateful for whatever love, stability, provision, and protection our fathers provided for us. Yet we all know our dads made some mistakes, or there were things they certainly could have done better. They were, and we all are, fallible.

We also acknowledge that their successes and failures as fathers leave a big mark on us. That’s just the way it is. It seems to affect our world view and our view of God to a large degree, and it’s etched so deeply and indelibly in our souls and spirits that it’s hard to change, or even realize that it may not be correct and might need to be changed.

Then Gary spent the rest of his time talking about the “Infallible Father.” God our Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, even Jesus of Nazareth who became flesh and walked among us to tell us about His Father, and to show us the Father. Faithful, loving, kind, humble, honest,  present, protector, defender, always the same… are some of the attributes pointed out about our Heavenly Father. 

Then in the preaching service that followed, we were asked, “How did you get your name?” The common answers were [1] Your father, [2] your husband, [3] yourself (as in a good reputation or name which can be chosen or worked at  — Proverbs 22:1.

Stan, the teacher, then connected that last thought with the thought of adoption, the other way we can get our name, or more accurately and importantly, His Name. He then spent a good deal of time talking about the Name of the Lord, the Name above all Names, and the benefits of being called by that Name, our Father’s Name. You might like to give his message a hearing by clicking here, or give it some thought and meditation on your own. 

As the ramifications sink in, so does the largeness of the proposition . Happy Father’s Day!! 🙂

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Before I leave you, I’ll add some tidbits that stood out to me from this Father’s Day message…

… the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17, NASB95)

and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”” (John 17:26, NASB95)

I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.” (Psalm 138:2, NASB95)

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, NKJV)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14, NKJV)

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17, NKJV)

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,” (Philippians 2:8–9, NKJV)

“What A Beautiful Name” (2016 Hillsong) was a song we worshiped with, unplanned I’m certain. But it certainly hit it’s mark in the hearts of the worshipers. Some of the lyrics go like this…

“What a beautiful Name it is… the Name of Jesus Christ my King…” “You have no rival, You have no equal, now and forever God You reign..” “Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the Name above all names.”

Stan the speaker said the word of the day was, “Choose Me as the # 1 affection of your heart.” Then he said, “You know He reigns on His Throne. Does He reign in your heart? That’s the question?”

What a beautiful Name it is…

And He offers it to you…. Amen.

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Listen and meditate if you wish… “What A Beautiful Name” (Hillsong Worship)

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Stan ended with this verse, certainly noteworthy, ““Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” (Jonah 2:8, NIV) Or as an earlier version on the NIV says, “forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”