Happy Independence Day

July 4, 2011

I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America!
And today I am so Happy to be an American!
Of thee I sing!
Have a wonderful Fourth of July Celebration, everyone!

Now all I need is some Apple Pie.


Summer is HERE!

July 2, 2011

It is absolutely summer time now! The gray fog of June is over, and it is sun, sun sun! I can almost taste the watermelon and hot dogs and ice cream.

The man and the lady are hardly ever here, they always say they are going to “Butte.” I thought that was in Montana, but I guess it isn’t, because they always come home late every day and sleep here. But that’s about it. I feed the cat, and water the plants, and bring in the mail and I even make sure there is bird seed in the feeder. I have no idea what these people are up to, and why they seem to have lost interest in their home and in me and the cat, but I don’t have time to waste on speculations. I am going to borrow the young man’s towel, take my ice tea, and go lie out in the sun in the back yard! This is summertime living at its best!

This summer I am going to get a good tan.


June 22, 2011

Wait. Doesn’t playcation mean something like make everybody happy and just settle down and not fuss? That’s not what I mean. It’s my word, so I mean I got to go on a VACATION and I PLAYED. See, I mixed two words together for fun. Well, that’s how it ended up. It started sort of differently.

Here’s what I did:

Last week, on our way home from the Los Angeles District Assembly, it was sort of late at night, and I was thinking about all the encouraging things I had heard, and was trying to decide not to be such a selfish monkey. And then I heard about a family I know who didn’t have any food in their cupboards, and I had three bananas, so I decided to take my bananas to their house and share.  I snuck into their house before they got home. I tried to make it obvious I was not a burglar. They were somewhat shocked when they came home to see me, a monkey, on their kitchen table. But I think they were even more shocked to see the three bananas I brought!

Well it turned out I was the one that was shocked. I learned that the reason their cupboards were empty was because they hadn’t been home for a couple weeks and had not gone to the grocery store, not because they were destitute like I had hoped. I started to get mad, that maybe I had wasted my bananas on them, because they actually could afford to go to the store, and I only had three bananas to my name. I felt like an idiot. I started to think sharing was stupid.

But I couldn’t stay mad very long. The boy and girl that lived there were so happy to see me, and the mom was so happy that she didn’t have to go to the grocery store at 6 a.m., and the dad was happy because the mom and kids were happy. Then I really started to feel like an idiot. But a happy idiot. I was just having fun with them all, and playing with toys and books. I ended up staying a whole week, we kept doing fun things every day.

See: Play + Vacation = Playcation.

I got to play with real toys: legos and a village with tiny dolls and figures of cars and furniture and household effects.

When you play with little toys, you can imagine they say anything!

The boy and I admired the tropical jungle-like quality of his back yard.

This boy is non-stop fun.

Plus he and I read some books together. One book rather upset him, because he is a very sensitive, caring young lad. It is a book called “The Family Under the Bridge”, a story about some children that actually live and sleep under a bridge in Paris because they don’t have enough money to live indoors.  Everything in the story works out in the end, but one night he had to go to bed half-way through the story! We had to stop at a very tense part of the book! So I made sure he got to sleep, and didn’t worry about the story children.

"sleep my child and peace attend thee, all through the night.."

So, I guess it doesn’t matter why you share your food or any of your other things. It seems like it just makes everybody happy when you do share.

The boy is part of a very stable family.

After a week, I did go back to my home with the man and the lady and the other monkeys.

But now I am part of the boy’s family, too.

Five star hotel. Three monkeys. One Church.

June 19, 2011

I got voted to be a delegate to the district assembly for the Los Angeles Church of the Nazarene!  Well, ok, not me, but the man and the lady got voted to go, so I just went in the suitcase with them.

Mostly I asked if I could go because I heard we were going to stay in a really fancy hotel. See, since it is a church trip, and they are supposed to be all holy and not too worldly or vain, they are supposed to stay in a clean, comfortable, affordable, unpretentis, non-fancy hotel. And they tried to do that. But the group leader found out that all the non-fancy hotels were booked, so the hotel company had to give the whole group reservations at the most fancy hotel in America! So I begged, and two other monkeys got to come, too.

They must have heard we were coming, because right inside the door in the room, there was a plate with delicious tropical fresh-fruit delights, all for monkeys only.

I can't believe they made this for me.

Oh, all right, I'll share. Who wants to eat the orchid?

There were special treats for the man and the lady, but they were on an honor system, which meant they had to pay, so since they are cheap, they did not have anything, except the cookies they snuck in from home.

We had the most comfortable bed!

5-star sleep for sure.

When the man and lady were gone, we spread out on their king-size mattress. I have to admit, we did jump.

You could play football on this thing.

They anticipate all your needs at this hotel. The man had tracked mud in on his shoe, from home, so I found a sterling silver mud-removal device, and scraped it right into the sink.

Mud is no match for me.

I wasn’t really a voted delegate, but I took my responsibilites as a partner in sound church health and spiritual encouragement very seriously. I made a point of meeting other pastors from other churches.

My friends Doug and Sondi from San Luis Obispo

In fact, I made a point of having a meaningful chat with Dr. J.K. Warrick, one of the six Nazarene world leader-helper guys. He is very important, but he is really just a humble servant of the Lord.

And don't forget to tell that story about Jesus and the boy and his lunch.

Even though it was an assembly for a big churchy thing, we were reminded that Jesus came to show everybody how to  love everybody and to share your lunch. And dinner. And house. And everything.

Father’s Day

June 19, 2011

I don’t know if I have a father. I mean, I never met anyone who said he was. All I remember is the lonely shelf at Sav-On. But it is Father’s day, and I know a few men who are fathers. They are so lucky to have their very own day. Ties and Pies! Golf and lawn mowers! Pancakes and Sausage! Beach balls and grape soda! Kids squealing and all running around!

It’s ok with me that I won’t be doing any of that. It really is.  I am going to just sort of have a quiet day and contemplate some things.

Jesus said a quote one time:

“No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God, He has seen the Father.”

I wonder if Jesus ever gave his Father a tie.

Have a wonderful Father’s day everyone!