A nice opportunity to step away from the humdrum of life and memorialize what really is worth counting for...a 21st century journal, if you will.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Portland, Oregon
I just returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest. My first visit to this city and it won't be my last. It is a wonderful city - full of artistic energy and life! It really is invigorating...walk up to Pioneer Square with a nice crisp breeze off the coast hitting you in the face and you feel like you have embraced life with vim and vigor. And to warm up there is a Starbucks or similarly fashioned coffee shop on every corner. (Fact was, one building had a Starbucks on the ground floor and one again on the third. Great for my now getting cold eggnog latte to be replenished by the third floor with a gingerbread one!)
I made several new acquaintances on this visit. One of them is a charming soul, follower of Jesus named Donald Miller. Pick up his most recent book for wonderful insight into Don - it is called BLUE LIKE JAZZ. The most appealing thing about this book - and also about Don - is its warmth and nonformulaic approach to life. Don could be my best-friend forever. He is in love with Jesus, in love with life and with people. Sitting across from him, sipping coffee, I could not help but appreciate his smile. He is warm and inviting like the gospel he so clearly lives out. He is a book lover, a writer, a teacher, a coffee drinker...all that and so much more. I look forward to getting to know him better. I hope you pick up his book!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

My Wife Returns Today
My wife went away - again - on a work-related trip. She has been gone 24 hours and I am missing her. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder...it is true! This is the person whom I chose to live with for the past 19th years, my very best friend.
Welcome Home Princess!

Saturday, October 18, 2003


Today is an amazing day to be alive and living in Colorado.
A day like today reminds me why I love living here so very much. There is a gorgeous breeze, the sun is shining down warmly and the colors are a sight to behold! God has been very good to my family and I am grateful.

I'm also pining for good friends - my South African friends are far away back in their homeland and I do so miss them. Little events that we would share together don't happen and the absence of those times make their being in South Africa all the more pronounced. I miss them so.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

the BIG 10
Today I taught a dozen third graders about the ten commandments. As we reflected on these "rules" we discovered that if these are written on our heart then there is an emotional attachment to this. We obey because of our love for God, our friends, or our parents. Out of an incredible heart-filled desire to please and follow God we heed the ten commandments.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.”
- Deuteronomy 6:5-6

That was a cause for a pause when I entered into discussion with these young ones. Wow. It is incredible the truths I'm being taught through a group of kids in the 3rd grade!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

7th - He Is in the Top Ten!
Yesterday was a banner day! My son entered a skateboarding competition.
We all awoke knowing that this was a big day for Jeremy and we as a family were off to this most formidable event. I drove him to the park, picking up one of his friends enroute. We arrived at 8:30 a.m. and both a gorgeous vista of Pike's Peak and a crisp morning greeted us.
"Dudes" were already there and practicing their routes and moves all over the concrete surface. It was exciting. I stayed back in the car clearly not fitting in with my jeans and fleece - this was a black tshirt and sagging pants crowd and I was obviously the outsider. The event didn't begin until 10:00 a.m. - late because of the sound guys! The host crew were amazingly friendly and just impressive to see them putting on this event for these kids. This juxtapositioned with a church youth group that I maintain is so totally out of touch with today's youth. Here were guys in their twenties and early thirties setting up a tent, sound gear and bringing their grilling equipment to put on a cool event for these teens. I thanked one of the goatee'd, Rayban wearing organizers for putting on such a fun event and providing this day for my son and his buddies. "That's cool man. Awright!" he smiled back at me.
Well the contest began and the one-minute routes were enhanced by the play-by-play commentary. You could have imagined that these were all Tony Hawks exhibiting their board prowess! "Next up, Jeremy Pape" the announcer called. Wow! That is my son. My heart beat a little faster and my chest may have stuck out an inch or two farther. I get extremely proud and downright emotional - embarassingly so! He did his route - yes, he flubbed but surely the judges will pronounce him champion of the day and award him with prizes, a championship cup to put in his room and maybe even a framed certificate. He placed 7th out of 25 and we brought home a crumpled piece of paper with "18" scrawled on it - his number for the competition - and some manufacturer's stickers! That was it. No media coverage of my son's run. No papparazzi snapping photos. But it was the grandest day for my son and I was there. It was amazing. Did I mention he placed seventh?

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Random Thoughts
I just typed a number of random thoughts and then hit post but in the ethers they are ...not sure how that happens.

Missing Friends
I have had little desire to come and blog since my friends moved to South Africa.
Odd that. There is a sense that I may never see them again and that makes me sad. The mourning period has extended itself to a very rich tradition - fresh baked brownies. That is no more in our house. We purchaes King Soopers' almond poppyseed cake or their 1001 Chocolate chip bundt. It is not the same. Oh well. I wish them well ...King Soopers that is as well as the folks in SA.

Family Time
We had a grand time yesterday around the kitchen table. It was a fashionable Saturday brunch served up at 11:30 in the morning. It was appropriate - it was a cloudy overcast and very cold day outside. It was right to light a fire and still be pyjama clad at that hour. We laughed. We chatted. I love my family!

Church Plant
The word "plant" suggests some organic life-giving essence. I don't really see much of that. I am wondering if there should be more church pruning.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Some of you may into classic movies enough to know that great song from My Fair Lady ...yes, Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. well today I was mindful of that tune, "get me to the church ontime" as I drove my wife and three boys to the Denver airport. Their flight was at 7:55 and at 6:00 p.m. we were gently entering the oncoming traffic of I-25 north. Yikes! At about ten minutes into our drive north I realized what was at stake. It was quite likely my familiy would miss their family and have to go on standby. Sure they might make the United counter but ahead of them was the serpentine security line. As an aside, ever notice how many "security officials" are just standing around observing whether we are staffing this securely. If only half of them stepped down from their balcony viewpoint they might greatly enable our line-up to last only 5 minutes instead of the now expected 20 minutes. Well the good news: my family called me at 7:45 indicating that they had boarded and were on the plane, seatbelts secure. Phew. Now if only I had been able to keep my cool. Another example of how I want to be in control of time ...of life ....of circumstances ...and all to no avail. As that tshirt so eloquently puts it: It's all good!

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