Vision To Value

I said “yes” a couple days ago when our once a month men’s breakfast cook asked me to take his place as he was sick. It’s not a milk and cornflakes kind of deal for our little country church. It’s supposed to be the best breakfast in the region. A “no excuse” kind of breakfast for the hungry as far as the food is concerned. Vision.

The guys put all kinds of money in the donation basket as all of it goes toward helping kids go to summer camp or a weekend winter camp. The kids raise half and they can get a scholarship for the other half. many of the guys will hire any kids needing to raise the rest of the money. If kids have nothing invested, they are more likely to get less out of camp. A life principle truth learned early is a good thing. Vision.

A good 30 to 40 minutes of eating, visiting and story telling round the tables and the rest of the hour one of the guys has been asked to prepare a spiritual challenge or story for the group to chew on. Often many guys stick around awhile to make their own comments before heading to work, back to the farm, maybe the shop or the lake. A few guys stick around and help clean up and make the kitchen look good for the next use. Value.

A long time ago, before moving away 10 years ago, this was men’s breakfast. Now that I have moved back I secretly wonder if the mission of the breakfast has drifted. I wonder if it’s still an entryway for neighbors to be fed physically, socially and spiritually? I wonder if the first Saturday of the month has been cheapened? Any Vision or value?

We often had up to 5 guys cooking and baking. Fresh from scratch and hot is important. One might have pecan and some plain caramel rolls while another has an egg bake loaded with ham or huge sausage pieces and one half is covered in cheese peppers and mushrooms. Someone is making biscuits and another making sausage gravy while stirring the fried potatoes with a pound of bacon pieces and onion. A couple serving people making tables ready with coffee crofts and syrup pitchers. Real plates and nice coffee mugs (actually created for this breakfast) make a statement of value to those being fed. Real coffee is sometimes debated but the guys are reminded they can water coffee down but the gospel will not be watered down here! Vision and value.

This morning I was sad in a way. My suspicions were correct. Our vision had become a program. The 40 guys who used to “own” this vision are mostly gone. I suspected things had changed when I asked what seasonings the men’s breakfast cabinet had on hand, “I’m not sure” prompted my subtly coded question with a picture added “can I bring mine?” (sent picture below).

I waited until the meal ended to ask the one guy helping me who was supposed to have a challenge ready for the guys. He said he was but he probably couldn’t make it through without his voice giving out (just recovered from losing his voice). I asked if it was ok for me to say a few words. “Yes please do”

When I said yes, I weighed the cost. I didn’t know if I would have help so I had the ham diced for the eggs, the onions and bacon sliced and diced to put with the 3/4 baked potatoes which were sliced for american breakfast fries. The biscuits and gravy was made the night before (just heat them up). The Pancakes could be made and kept warm in the oven. If no one showed for giving a spiritual challenge with good stories…I was ready. I actually used 3 blogger stories as illustrations (15 minutes as promised).

There is hope. One of the guys who came was a neighbor. He brought his kids. They loved the food. He liked what was said, He was part of the conversation after and he helped clean up the kitchen just to get to know us. There will be more to come on his part and hopefully on ours.

Work is the word I left out of “Vision to Value” Work is not a culturally fond word even though it’s a necessary ingredient for vision to have any sensible shape. A workable vision (have the best men’s breakfast around) must be worked through to have any value (those eating would agree and come back for more). The cost of saying “Yes” for me would have been way less if I had no vision (you guys are eating corn flakes with milk because I don’t want to work any harder than that).

Perhaps the cost will be greater than I thought since I would like to see 40 guys “owning” this “vision to value” again.

Gary

…The End

What comes to mind when I say just one word and then you get a glimpse of what I watched for a couple hours.

Someday

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

My response: Someday…It’s autumn stage in my life, so…Yes, it matters how I live. It matters that I know my creator. “Someday” is coming kind of fast.

Gary

A beautiful Ugly Tree I See

It’s my favorite tree in the fall of the year. I step out the front door and a splash of multi-color maple leaves against a backdrop of green oak leaves framing the maple. All framed by the sky and whatever the weather is doing at the time. A photogenic maple, in the fall only. Take a peek.

See what I mean? It’s just started to change color and it does it in sections. Reds, yellows and greens here

Each day I seem to enjoy a little more red or a little more yellow.

I must admit, I am partial to the reds in this maple. What a splash compared to all the other fall colors.

There is one glitch though. I find this tree hard to capture in a photograph. The look I want is hard to get. I have to frame sections of this spread out tree so I take many different pictures, framing them just so and cropping parts out I don’t want. take a peek at a few different angles of the tree.

Now on to the ugly part of the tree (in comparison). Right now the tree stands almost empty of leaves. So far I have refused to take a side view picture of the tree. It’s an old maple, leans and the body of the tree is crooked and unbalanced. It only looks good from the front. I have framed the tree in pictures to make it fit my purposes.

I was setting up my camera on a tripod with a big lens for a close up photo and a not so comfortable insight tapped me on the head, right through my thick stocking cap (and yes my thick skull). I do that with God. My perspective of God changes with the seasons and with the circumstances all too often. Somehow, when my perspective changes, I think God is the one who has changed.

When life is going really well, God is a good and beneficial God. God is with me at all times and is answering all kinds of prayer. When we were life flighting my daughter, God didn’t seem to want to be hear our pleas or even get on the plane (from where I sat). God is a God of little miracles. He will help a relative find their Contac lens in a miraculous way. God has saved our daughters life so many times but not healed her of the cause in her crippled body. God let a saw blade fly off a machine and cut both my arms to the bone, and then he saved my life. And, so, I frame God from my perspective. As a young boy trying to get my fingers to work after all the nerves in my arms were cut off, others could trust God wholeheartedly because they only saw the front view of God. Yet, God was an old leaning tree to me at the time.

Our perspective means everything and we trust our perspective. If we think our perspective has not been framed by any one or any thing but us, we are very wrong. The game in politics is to raise the most money for “framing” one’s great “colors” while discoloring the opponent. Advertising is a trillion dollar framing business in “brand recognition”. I have the best looking maple tree every fall and I frame pictures to prove it. Jesus just comes along and says “follow me”. We have had some very lopsided conversations on how he has framed my life. His answer is the same “follow me. I did and I have.

My wife and I had a rare glimpse of God’s framing when Our daughter was three. She went into septic shock. Her last words as we were going out the door to Emergency “mommy the lights went out”, then she went unconscious. No blood pressure, not enough blood to brain, c-scan ordered, The mobile unit c-scan came (his choice as he didn’t have to). Mobile unit guy thought the little girl would die in his unit so he made a bargain with God. “God if she lives, I will take my family to church in the morning”. She lived, the four of them went to church (of all places our church and they were praying for our daughter). They heard the gospel and turned over their lives to God, all four of them. Those in on the story being lived out by us, took a peak of life from God’s perspective. Sometimes that looking glass is quite foggy. Sometimes, more like most of the time, that view is beyond our eyesight. Jesus still offers the best framing from an eternal perspective and says “follow me”

When the back side of life is ugly and we cannot frame nice colors anymore, when beautiful people are finding Contac lenses in miraculous ways while our loved ones are losing their memory or in chronic pain or fighting to stay alive. Remember the one who framed our sin on a cross. Follow Jesus and let him frame life’s circumstances, events, issues and relationships. Know him through his word (the bible) and know him personally through his life in you. A living breathing relationship with our creator. The same one who made those red leaves and put them there. He then gave me the artistic desire and ability to frame so carefully and think I’m good.

This old guy can still dress up nice but I don’t stand as straight and I lean to the left and am not as balanced as before…Good one God.

Gary

Green Rivers

cropped-arizona-skyline.jpg10 years ago I had asked my oldest daughter to write about a very special adventure. I was reminded of this story when Manette posted about  “Dad Help”. When I looked up this old story I see that Manette, Mandy (Blue Collar Theologian) and David (David’s Daily Dose) had already read it. Wow. It’s worth sharing again and very much worth going to Manette’s story and illustration as well (Click here). I share this again to make an important encouragement at the end of this story. This is how and why Christianity works in this world today. Just look at all the dynamics and add your good thoughts and insights.

Green Rivers

                                                                By Tracy DeMarse

Do you ever look back and notice crazy threads that somehow seem to keep showing up in your life? Like knowing a different couple named “Mike and Julie” in all five cities you’ve lived in so far?  Or no matter how many job changes you have you always seem to have a boss named “Mitch”?  For me it usually involves “Green River.”

The first Green River was a small town in Utah.  Wikipedia tells me its population is around 973. It is miles away from any other large town and surrounded by cattle and desert. It is also where the alien planet scenes from Galaxy Quest were filmed. My husband and I had been married for about a year and were headed to LA for his summer internship when our truck broke down there.  Actually, it didn’t just break down; the engine overheated and then melted back together in a big useless metal lump.  The local mechanic said he could get to it in a week or so. We checked into a hotel, called our parents to tell them our situation and then just sat back to try to figure out a game plan. Twenty minutes later the local church pastor was at our door inviting us to dinner with his family.

Talk about word getting around fast in a small town. Actually, my Dad had gotten out his invaluable little black book and started making a few calls.  Who would have guessed that a girl from Northern Minnesota could find a connection in Green River, UT? But, truth being stranger than fiction somehow the dots had connected.  It turned out my great-aunt had a cousin who knew a guy… Yeah, seven degrees of Gary Fultz had provided the pastor of the only Christian church in town. He turned out to be a very gracious host with a lovely wife and three kids that all helped to make what did end up being a week-long stay an actually memorable and even pleasant experience.

At the time my young self just sort of floated through the week and said that was fun and went on with life. Learn something? Was I supposed to? Recalling now all that they did for us I am so amazed at the kindness of strangers.  They helped us get a used engine from a town on the Colorado border to save quite a bit off the mechanic’s bid and put us up in a house the church owned in exchange for mowing and cleaning.  I got to lead praise and worship music with their small congregation; another new experience. We didn’t have to cover many of our meals because we were invited over for dinner by multiple members of the church. We even spent Mother’s Day with the entire extended family of a local cattle rancher.  Everyone got their own very large and very fresh stake right off the grill.  Yum!

It wasn’t all fun and games, it did come with quite a price tag to fix up our truck and we arrived a week late for the internship. But, those are the things that now seem inconsequential.  When I think of that week, I have fond memories.  Family games, bike rides with the pastor’s kids, long walks with my husband, and being welcomed and showered with hospitality when we could offer virtually nothing in return.

I can’t help but wonder had the tables been turned if I would have gone to such lengths for the young stranded couple in my town?  I was shown a wonderful example of individuals willing to be the hands and feet of Christ.  I got to experience being on the receiving end of that in a time of need.  How would that week have felt without their willingness to serve?

The end of the same summer found us breaking down yet again in Green River.  This one was a town in Wyoming. It was the middle of the night and nothing was open until morning.  We spent the night on the side of a highway in a cold, cramped truck that shook every time traffic blew by us.  By morning we were stiff, sore and exhausted.  However, we were pretty close to the nearest town and the mechanic was helpful and friendly.  It was just the water pump and he could fit us in right away.  He called over to a local hotel that let us crash there and sleep while for just a few dollars. A second Green River experience had been another small example of people making the load a little lighter. Coincidence? Is there such a thing?

Fast forward a decade or so and our young family of four is moving to a small Kentucky town located on, yes, the Green River.  Once more finding ourselves miles from home and trying to navigate new surroundings.  Once more being taken under the wings of some wonderful Christian women and loved, nurtured and upheld as I got my bearings.  I thank God once again for the willingness of those women to be his hands and feet and show me around town and lead me along while I adjusted to a new place and new roles. James tells us that “Faith without works is dead.” Does that mean that works are tied to salvation?  No.  Read the rest of the book, salvation itself is in no way tied to anything we could ever do, but the ever practical James is telling us like it is, that actions speak louder than words and true faith will show itself.  As I reflect I am challenged. This thread is not new.  Jesus himself demonstrated time and again what it should look like. This is my Green River,  the servant thread being woven into my life.  I need to be open and willing to be those hands and feet and to show my faith in those practical ways; to serve.  I’m still here by the Green River, so God must have a few things planned for me.  Maybe I can be His hands and feet in someone else’s “Green River”.  Do you have a crazy thread?  What is being woven into your life?

Tracy

Now Gary’s notes:

Here’s the “Dad” side of the story. Tracy called and told me their predicament. I hope you can follow this trail...I called an uncle who pulled trailers to deliver all over the united states to ask him if he had any contacts in Green River Utah. He said no but his wife had an uncle who was a missionary, then pastored a couple years with the church there. I was able to get ahold of my aunts uncles number and called. They didn’t know anyone as the pastor was new but had the church parsonage number. I called and the pastors wife was in so I told her our daughters plight and their names and that they were at the hotel going for a swim in the pool to figure things out. She said “We will take it from here” She called her husband and asked him to pick up a young couple in room 8 at the hotel and invite them to supper. So the famous knock and the door with a pastor asking a young couple over for supper began an adventure for our kids as well as the church. And, Yes, all those numbers went into my little black book of connections I get teased about by family. They never did figure out the trail of the true tale I just told, and that’s ok.

I have recently been able to say to several people going through very hard times “Be encouraged, God is working behind the scenes” I can say that with 100% conviction because God was using myself and some others to correct a problem. We were a part of Gods solution. An old couple (both crippled but still home) down the road will soon hear these words as their roof is so bad it’s caving in. No money, no firewood for winter and the list goes on. Their adult kids do not care but a small group of us are planning how to take care of the problem. They do not know it yet. God has tapped us on the shoulder and we have said “Yes”.

Jesus said a lot of things like that. He knows what’s happening behind the scenes to the end of the age and also to the end of our lives. We should believe him. If someone says to you “be encouraged, God is working behind the scenes, you should believe them. I hope you get to say that to somebody very soon, because you have inside information. Because God has tapped you on the shoulder and you have already said “Yes”

Thank you for reading. For at least 3 of you…rereading.

Gary

Limited Time Offer

Don’t let the sun go down on this one.

When Matt posted about Hard Times in his Jesusluvsall blog, he needed prayer. He also needs a vehicle.

Me being me, I decided to check up on Matt and do a little digging. I did (sorry Matt). guess what? I found a guy whose heart is made of Gold. Yep, found gold. I suspected I had read between the lines well following his posts for awhile. That told me he has character. I also want to make sure I wasn’t involved in bailing someone out from what God is trying to teach him through hard times. Sometimes we do that as kind hearted people, which means it will happen again and again. Not the case here…I’m telling you, Gold.

Meanwhile Matt posted “The School Of Jesus” which explains why I found Gold.

  1. I’m supporting Matt in getting a vehicle for two main reasons. One is kind of selfish. If I help him buy a vehicle, every time he drives it to work, gives someone a ride or buys someone a coffee at the coffee shop, I am in on it (the selfish reason). I’m also in on it when he greets his international students in their native tongue (all 30 languages for Matt). It’s like buying stock in a company only the rewards are probably better. One could say they go on forever and Matts doing all the work.
  2. I honestly felt like God was tapping me on the shoulder saying “get in on this one Gary., it’s a limited time offer.” So, I called a friend who helps others more than I do and asked him if I was a bit nuts on this. He said, “you are Gary, and, of course you are nuts, do it and I’ll chip in as well.

So I’m posting (as some of you are) a link to matt’s go fund me link in case some of you want to get in on this limited time offer. No pressure. It’s like I told Matt “I don’t have much money, but our father is rich,” My dad used to say “people believe and sing the old hymn that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but they don’t believe he owns the meat in their freezer.” Let’s help Matt continue his ministry. Share a little from what we have in the freezer

I’m in.

Click Here for Matt’s Go Fund Me link

Gary

Matt, I hope we bypass your goal…by far.

Artists Law of Thermodynamics

I wanted to show you a header picture I took this week. You had to be there to appreciate the full beauty and grit of an Iris flower growing in a foot of water and high grass. The dynamics and lighting were astounding. The color contrasts were worth staring at for a long time. Several species of bugs were attracted enough to have a steady stream of insect visitations. Then I tried to take a picture and capture the scene, the mood, the color and light and insects. I fell as close as one might fall in love for a wild flower as a picture taking artist-writer.

You may have just looked at the picture and said to yourself “hmm, nice picture”, if you like pictures of flowers. A whole lot of something(s) were lost from my experiencing the flower to your experience seeing a picture worth quite a few words (by my estimation). We just experienced this natural law; “The second law of thermodynamics states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted.” My emotional experience transferred to a photograph and words to you have lost about 95% of it’s energy. More than that if I cannot find good words to bring it together.

Simply translated: I write about an awesome experience or insight the world needs to hear about and the reader says “hmm, nice thoughts”. I take two hours or two weeks on a perfect fantastic picture which conveys the essence of nature in it’s fullest beauty. Someone looks at it and says “Oh, nice.” Yep, lost a ton of energy from the creator to the rest of the world.

So, let me add something to the picture (as I took more than one). I may get an “oh my, would you look at that” on this next picture of the same flower. Or not.

See the eye? You didn’t know flowers have eyes did you?

Now I have lost your interest in the flower and my flower picture is about the eye looking back at you. You are totally distracted. It’s a really good picture though and will probably be worth more words to everyone except botanical people. So what am I writing about here? Oh ya, how much energy is lost from writer to reader? About 99.9%

One more example from this weeks pictures. I took 20 pictures of this Barred owl placing it’s self in the same tree as nesting robins. our whole backyard was full of bird protesters of every small species incited by the robins. I named the spot beside the raspberries “Cacklephonia.” Seemed fitting.

Seems innocent enough. and yes, I got close.

I experienced these pictures in real time. I spent an hour attempting to shoot pictures I couldn’t get from the ground while listening and watching dive bombing birds at the big owl. The owl would merely mew softly like a cat while giving me “the look” everyone sums up in one word “who?” My point exactly made by a friend “that’s an owl”

If a picture worth a thousand words can, at best, convey only a small percentage of the experience of being there, think how hard we as writers, artists and photographers have to work at communicating our thoughts, emotions and stories. How much work and talent does it take to make a difference?

In this light, think of how amazing this experience was for the world to conclude this about the disciples of Jesus? “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

I cannot begin to imagine the powerful experiences (many recorded) these men had to effectively change the world. So powerful the pagan world around them was constantly being changed. The second law of thermodynamics doesn’t work on God. Jesus last words prove correct for the last 2000 years and the great artist and writers energy is transferred 100% with no loss of energy

 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

This challenges me to the core. I want to know and experience Jesus in such a way.

Lets keep growing…noticeably, and rely on his power.

Visible New Growth in a balsam

Gary

Psst…And the eye?? it’s a bumblebee.

Again

I have a heart condition. It’s a secret to most. Those who have deeply known me over a long period of time just accept the processes of life. Eyes dim, thought delays lengthen, shorter strides gimp as the former wings of my heart and soul grow slowly defluttered. I want a good heart again.

I want to walk through the woods with unspeakable joy again.

I want to see the un-see-able as I gaze through the treetops into the heavens, past the galaxies again.

I want to rescue desire and wonder to mountains above, to wrist away warring-fear-demons smog. Again.

I want my acidic tears of grief to be purified by joy into refreshing life drops where they fall again.

I want my hearts strong rhythm refreshing and cleansing every cell, so what’s dying may live again.

Oh Lord, I need your heart to beat in me again. You can have mine. Again.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

Again

Oh friend, have you ever searched your heart and found it shriveling? After the rocks of life have so cracked the looking glasses of reality, how do we see clearly? Eternity is seen with the heart, but only clearly with the creators heart in us is life and eternity in focus at the same time.

Gary

Surviving The Crash

Several of you have wanted to know more details of my cousins daughter surviving a plane crash in Alaska last month. You may have seen something on the news or googled “plane crash on a lake in Alaska”. Notice the open water in the background if you clicked on the link.

Ashley and Glenn talk some about this in their local rural church. It’s very much worth hearing their thoughts then and today. There is a long journey ahead to get back to the top of a mountain.

This is a “before” picture. I hope it can happen again Ashley!

As a backdrop, keep some little tidbits of information in the back of your mind.

This from a text today: “The hardest part about telling the story is that it takes so long to set up the story that many of the miracles were not even mentioned.  Lake Illiamna is the 7th largest freshwater lake in the world. 1) Had the pilot started the turn 10 seconds sooner (which equals 1/2 mile), the plane would have crashed in open water.  10 seconds later and they would have crashed in the rocks.  It was perfect timing to crash onto 30 inches of ice in a bay.  2) The plan crashed in the middle of a turn, hitting wing first.  This caused the plan to cartwheel, which caused the engine and battery to be ripped off, so that there was nothing to ignite the leaking AV fuel.  3) God allowed for one of the texts to make it out, which gave coordinates and situation.  Just that small detail shaved off an hour or more of search and rescue response. 4) There is the triple A battery, that was in someone’s pocket, which was nearly sliced in two,  protecting an upper thigh from a potentially deep cut”

The list goes on and on of seemingly small details of life and death significance.

This interview, in their local church, is a part of the palm Sunday service. Pick up the conversation with Ashley at 39:45 and Glenn’s challenge as a father at 57:30. going into this. Understand this is someone with a very recent miraculous survival story. (Scroll to Ashley talking at 39:45 and Glenn at 57:30)

Scroll to Ashley talking at 39:45 and Glenn at 57:30

When asked if there was anything else I should put in this post, Glenn asked for this prayer of encouragement from Colossians 1 :9-11.  For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience”

Ask questions in comments, and, yes an account is being set up to help pay emergency evacuation and medical bills beyond what insurance will cover. I will post that later on my regular garyfultz blog

Thanks

Gary

Writers Drift

They do. They drift. Okay, so do I, maybe, I guess…Lot’s of life applications here.

I thought of this while shoveling out our driveway and then three more driveways on our road. The winds created a ground blizzard and made huge packed drifts where cars and trucks once passed through. All our drives are 100 yards long (give or take some distance). At this point I need to show you a picture of my shovel in case you think a retired guy is superhuman. Disclaimer: I wrote that for me as I know it never crossed your mind.

My snow shovel.
Yep, snow piles are everywhere this year.

Think about how easy it is to drift in life. Life’s storms and winds come up and change our direction. things pile up and our energies are used just to cope and get by.

I write this to encourage those of us who write to consider how grounded we are to the message we have set out to get across. It’s easy to drift with the winds and react to the times. If we write just to be read, it is like me shoveling snow (with the skid steer bucket of course) because I like shoveling and piling snow. Anywhere, everywhere. It’s fun! I’m afraid I have accomplished many things in life needlessly.

Truthfully, I have heard many public speakers who just like to hear themselves talk. I have read many a blog with a sigh thinking “and your point, encouragement, entertainment value or motivation is…?”

My last point is a spiritual consideration directed at those who follow Jesus.

I use a skid steer to shovel snow as it’s not humanly possible to move that much snow after a storm with hard packed snow drifts. We have no business tackling jobs without making sure we are onboard with God’s will and God’s power (not from asking God to be onboard with us). This is the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is from a conviction that this is what God wants us to be about. This is from our walk and living relationship with a risen Christ in us.

When we drift from operating on God’s leading and his power, we fall into the big drift of powerless mediocrity.

So, watch out for those prevailing winds of time, the storms and blizzards of life and the drift that so easily happens. “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

“Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.” psalm 127:1

  1. Take a walk 2) have a talk 3)get right 4)Stay tight!

Gary

Rest, Rest, and The _ _ _ Story

A couple years ago I received an email from a new-found writer and blog follower.  RON BOUCHARD, THE BURNING HEART wrote “Hey Gary, don’t neglect the gift God has given you. Write man write!!” I had not put out a post for awhile and he made sure I was not going to quit. So I didn’t. Sometimes it just takes one encouragement. He was short and to the point and he said about the same thing 3 different times…Yep, that’s a friend. A friend I never got to meet.

Since then Ron has battling cancer, taken chemo and gone into remission. We have encouraged one another and he has been on my prayer list. I had not heard from him in awhile on his small but mighty blog so I sent him a message or two around Christmas. Yesterday I was delighted to see a post from “The Burning Heart”, until I opened it.

I admit it was hard for me to see Nancy’s post on Ron’s site. Those who had visited his site will smile and also be saddened. We should remember to lift up Nancy and family to the Lord.

Click here to see Nancy’s post on Ron Click here for update

Ron, as well as many of you, wanted to make it to Minnesota (in the summer) and spent some time in the boat with me. A fireside chat in the back yard with smores to the mosquito hum and possibly the coyotes would yip or the big gray timber wolves moan. We would absolutely have a fish fry.

We will miss his posts and emails while Nancy will miss Him. One thing we could all take from Ron’s life and writings; He did not hold back his heart. His Blog title was accurate. You know his heart is still burning with a flame for God.

Ron related to those on the Emmaus road “And they said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 Should that not be said of us?

I keep re-reading this…” He had sent a text that he was tired and going to rest before driving home, and…”

Rest Ron, Rest. at least the weather is perfect there. It’s really cold here. We will keep writing from our burning hearts!

This morning was cold. Xtra Cold…

Ironic that Life here goes on, and on, and un…til it hits forever.

Gary