Two birthdays down...Nancy, May 7, see photos. Dean, yesterday, June 23, see photos. Next month, July 20, Natalie. Dean and his twin brother, Dan, were born in the Government Hospital in Kaduna, Nigeria. Nancy and Natalie were born 14 months apart in the SIM Hospital in Jos, Nigeria. All are American citizens by virtue of being born of American citizens overseas.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
We arrived in Azle, Texas, on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Shane had been born Friday, June 4. Grandmother Natalie had already arrived from Ohio and was with Alesha and Nathan at the time of the birth. Our trip to Texas--where we also visited Jerry & Doris Hall in Longview--was especially to see and hold our first great grandchild. Our course many people are much younger than we are when their first great grandchildren arrive. Shane and his parents are all doing well. In case the location of Azle is a mystery to you, find Ft. Worth on your Texas map. Look to the northwest suburbs. You'll find the metropolis of Azle. Now, go just a bit north and you'll find Pelican Bay. That actually is where the Vines family live.
Just how well the family is doing...Sunday evening we all went out for a splendid Mexican meal in Azle.
Monday, June 21, 2010
This morning while driving to the Post Office I was listening to our local talk radio program. Glenn Beck and his would be humorous sidekick were wise-cracking about something President Obama had said about Zanzibar. Neither of these guys had a clue as to where it is and their asinine conversation eventually led to a discussion about countries in Africa that simply displayed their ignorance and a totally dismissive attitude of that continent. I have increasingly tired of Glenn Beck as a serious and credible interpreter of current events and today led me to wonder if he is as ignorant of everything else as he is of Africa? Of course anyone who has seen his evening TV program cannot help but be impressed by the vast store of knowledge he seems to have mastered night by night. It is well to remember, however, that all of these political pundits have a vast and well-paid research staff and I speak of both the left and the right. The truth is very hard to discern. Truth is a fixed matter but even when we hear, and it is seldom that we do, both sides presented factually and objectively, it is still hard to come to a conclusion that "now I've got it...this is what it is." The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is an example. Prevailing opinion--both left and right--is that BP is definitely the culprit. The US Congress and Administration is using the terrible situation (and there is universal agreement that it is a terrible situation) for political theater. Has anyone given any thought to the fact that BP operates in this instance in Federally controlled waters, that no drilling of any sort (where of the cost cutting careless kind of not) is done without the express approval of the US Government? This line of reasoning is not to exonerate BP; heaven forbid. If indeed the did cut corners, they ARE to be blamed. However, if the Federal government had been doing its job such corner cutting would have been prohibited in the first instance. What think you?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Dean's birthday is coming up soon...It was June 23, 1954 when he and his older brother (by only a few minutes) were born in Kaduna, Nigeria. This is the first photograph of the twins showing also Nursing Sister Stokes. Nigeria was then a colony and protectorate of Great Britain. The doctor who delivered the twins was British as was Nurse Stokes. The cost to us: Zero. That's what national health care is all about. Or, it was then.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Daniel DeValve who is majoring in Floral Arrangement (just kidding) at Cedarville with flowers he had just picked for his Mom for Mother's Day. Daniel is majoring in International Studies.
Now on an entirely different note, a thought that has been circulating in my cranium and also in my heart is this, "What Gospel have we believed?" Of course we have believed and received the Gospel message that we are lost sinners in need of a saviour and that Jesus Christ, God's Son, through his sacrificial death upon the cross purchased for us our eternal salvation. That we gladly and willingly affirm. But it seems to me that many of us--or I'll limit that to me and perhaps "many" like me--have been taught and perpetuated another "gospel" and I speak now of "truth," not the salvation message, and that "gospel" defines us more by what we are not than by what we are. We have more or less subscribed to the notion that the most important thing in the Christian life is to not be "worldly" and by not being "worldly" we mean that there is a long list of things that are proscribed. And many of them likely should be proscribed, others, however have no more bearing on true holiness than some of the rules concocted by the Pharisees.
We have--and wrongly, I submit--concluded that to not be "worldly" is to be "spiritual." Indulge me, please, for a few moments more. I submit to you this thought to mull over: We have it all in reverse. This emphasis should not be on the avoidance of worldliness but on the thirsting for and seeking for God and His righteousness. If we are truly spiritual (seeking the Spirit's empowering to live holy lives with an ever growing desire to know and love God) then we will not be worldly. But simply to not be worldly does not necessarily equal being spiritual.
Suzanne DeValve, home from Cedarville University, after completing her freshman year. Majoring in elementary education as did her Mom before her also at Cedarville. She and her brother, Daniel (now a senior at Cedarville University) will be working this summer at the nearby Salvation Army camp, Camp Lahore.
Pictured above, Mom and Nancy on Mother's Day, at Missionary Retreat Fellowship, Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. What's with the sweater and scarf? Well, the local weather prognosticator became a prevaricator and the warm weather promised was not forthcoming. But now that we are in the hot season in Florida we look back at Pennsylvania and say, "Being cool was cool."
Friday, May 07, 2010
A couple of years ago the home that stood on this spot burned. It was a beautiful home built early in the 20th century by a Mr. Lovelace. In 1917 it was purchased by my grandparents, Oliver & Vita Wheeler. It remained in the Wheeler family until 1982 or '83 when it was purchased by a great granddaughter of Grandpa & Grandma Wheeler, Julie (Hall) Walker and her husband Gene. They made many improvements on the old homestead and then, mysteriously, one day when no one was at home a fire--possibly an electrical short--broke out. The house was so thoroughly destroyed that it was declared a complete loss and later was reduced to rubble and carted off to a landfill. The structure in the background is the Starrucca Viaduct built about 1846 by the Erie Railroad. The stone was from local quarries. It is an engineering marvel.