Thursday, April 30, 2009

Explain UP

Grace and Greetings.

One of the on-line groups that I am a part of, sent this little statement in, and so I am passing it along. I have seen it somewhere else, so it has been around the block a time or two, but still worth pondering.


Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language. Learning the nuances of English makes it a difficult language. (But then, that's probably true of many languages.) There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.' It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an adverb, preposition, adjective, noun, or verb.
It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends and we use color to brighten UP a room. We polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for a while, things dry UP.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this up is especially confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now; my time is UP, so time to shut UP!

Don't screw UP. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book.

Now I'll shut UP.

Peace and blessings

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I am Confused

Grace and greetings.

I am confused; this evening my 26 year old daughter called me up with her own frustration. A few years ago, my daughter joined the National Guard, then broke her hip while in training and received an honorable discharge. She has since come back from the broken hip, (including baring two children since then) and is back in shape. For the last several months, she has been waiting to sign on the bottom line with the US Army; she finally got the call to come in this afternoon and get her orders. As she sat there waiting, the recruiter came up to tell her that the US Army did not have any jobs for her. They gave her two reasons: she was a FEMALE with PRIOR SERVICE. They then turned around and signed up a male that was sitting there, granted, it was for the infantry, and women are still not "infantry." So basically they told her to go home and check back with them in a few months....

Right now, she is in too much shock to know what to think, or how to respond. Her first thoughts are to sue for discrimination. Her next thought was to check out a few of the other branches, maybe the Marines.

In the meantime, her youngest turned three today, so she had to be of good cheer for her children. I ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers...and if you have any suggestions for her and or me, please let me know.

Peace and blessings.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

With Spring comes mud

Grace and greetings.

We have now had three days in a row that the temperature made it above the freezing mark. That means things are starting to melt. Sunday we had the first rain fall in six months. Grass on the side of our house makes its appearance for the first time in 2009.

Of course with Spring rains, comes the melting of the snow. With the melting of the snow, comes mud. This time of year, as in most other places that experience winter snows, is called break-up; as the snow and ice melt, the rivers start to break-up. Here, all our roads are dirt and gravel, (except in the winter, when it is ice and snow). With break-up, comes pot holes. Now of course we are not talking about your occasional pot hole here or there, we are talking about holes on every road. Some of the pot holes can be small enough to just be a quick bounce; where others will break axles. Most of the pot holes do not come in ones or twos, but in bunches. Some are like the small ruts that remind people of the rail road ties; others seem to be big enough to swallow whole cars.

This will be the general story for our roads for the next five to six months...pot holes, graders to try and level out the roads and water trucks to keep down the dust and dirt. All this fun until the next snow fall, to cover and fill in the pot holes with snow and ice again.

Peace and blessings.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring is least for today

Grace and greetings.

It has been over a week since my last entry; I want to assure everybody we are alive and doing well...sort of. The picture on the left was taken just a few minutes ago, 23:09, or 11:09 PM. I will post the two other pictures as well. For the past week the air temperature has been above zero, right around 10 degrees. Then today it jumps up to 35 degrees, everything is melting and will be a great big mess if it keeps up. But the forecast is for cooler temps tomorrow, back into the teens.

To answer many questions that are out there, let me try and answer them en-mass.

First, concerning Kim: Her lungs seem to be stable at the moment. She did not have to have surgery this past December. She did have two teeth pulled Thursday though, so she is still a little dizzy with the pain medications. On another front, we have been waiting for her to have a hearing on her SSI Disability claim since she fell back in 2003. The company that oversees the paperwork and meets with the official Judge pulled out of Kim's case last month. Now we have a hearing next week in Fairbanks, so we get to represent ourselves. We are not real hopeful for her to get SSI, since their definition is TOTAL disability; i.e. can she flip hamburgers? Our major hope and prayer hangs on the Bi-Polar diagnosis, if the judge will see that as a total disability. The main difference between the Church's definition and SSI, the church defines "anything that disables and impedes from what she has been trained and educated." So the church could see a disability, but SSI would not. Of course she has to apply for SSI in order to be on the church's disability. Of course this hearing in May already has cost us the air fare to Fairbanks, $1,100.00 that we really do not have just to throw away. We were told that we could ask for help since we are more than 75 miles away, but I am not holding my breath. We will see how it all falls out next month. Of course, planning for the worst case scenario, Kim loses her disability and we lose her $2,000 a month to help out to pay off her medical bills from Seattle as well as last year in Anchorage.

Sam is finishing up his school year, they have about three more weeks before finals. He tried to make up credits so that he could graduate next month, but just is not going to get there. He will be two credits short of graduation. So he will be returning to school August 17th, and then in December, he can choose to graduate then, or stay in school until next May. We will see how that falls out then. Other than that, he is the normal teenage trying to get out of as much home work and house work as possible.

I myself am surviving. Kim and I just finished up on a Creative Writing class on how to write our own stories. We turned in twenty page papers at the end of our short five week course. Each week, we had to turn in five page reports on different understandings of writing, (voice, point of view, etc.), then we could put them all together and connect the different papers into one big one paper. The teacher is hoping to "publish" the class papers sometime this fall. Again, we will see if that happens.

Another excitement for this last couple of days is that Willie Hensley was up here, speaking at the college's commencement and then a book signing day at the library. Willie Hensley was one of the main forces in helping the Alaska Native Lands Claims Act get through congress and then President Richard Nixon's signature.

Otherwise, I have a new assignment; I will be heading out to Louisville and then Chicago in July for a Cross Cultural Training. The time in Louisville, Kentucky is with other Presbyterians; then in Chicago will be with other people who serve or will be serving in cultures that they (ministers and missionaries), did not grow up in. I have six books that I need to read before hand, plus a few others that are recommended. It will be a challenge for this slow reader.

Well I think I have gone overboard in the information if you are still reading to this point. I will try and post some more pictures tomorrow....

Peace and blessings.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally, the Air Temperature is above zero

Grace and greetings.

As Spring moves closer to the Arctic, yesterday and today the air temperature has have been above zero, even though the wind chill have been around -10. According to the weather on MY GCI page, is at 6 above, the themomator outside our house is all the way up to 12 degrees. Yeah!

The picture on the left was taken a couple of days before the sun officially rose above the horizon. But is giving you a different view of Barrow.

I am late getting to the office today, so I have to go.

Peace and blessings.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunrise

Grace and greetings

Yesterday morning was my third Sunrise service here in Barrow. The first time in 2007, the air temp was -15; last year was -35; yesterday was only -10 but the wind chill was closer to -30.

The other services pictures were published in the Dyersville, Iowa newspaper, because one of our church members was a reporter, and would still be in contact with his home paper. Unfortunately, he and his wife moved the Wisconsin last summer after spending twenty some years here.

The weather was nice and clear in the morning, as you can see from the picture, but by the afternoon, the clouds moved in. With the three services on Easter, concluded a run of 14 services in fifteen days for me. My mind is still fried, particularly now.

The other picture is inside our sanctuary, with the cross and lillies. Yes, we get live plants up here, but they do not always last that long. Anyway, I hope everbody had a great Easter.

Peace and blessings

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Angels' Loss

Grace and greetings.

As most of you know, I have been a fan of the Los Angeles Angels before they moved to the "Big A" in the late 1960's. Even though I moved from Southern California in 1974, I continue to follow the Angels, win or lose. Last night they lost their third game of the season, this time it was their famed Bull Pen who let them down. They lost the game to the Oakland A's 6-4. But that was not the real loss of last night. The starting pitcher for the game, Nick Adenhart, was killed in a hit and run accident early Thursday morning, only hours making his season debut. There were two others killed as well. It turns out that a driver ran a red light, hit two cars, including the one Adenhart was in, and then took off. The police were later able to track down the driver and arrest him.

As we move into the major days of the Holy Week, I ask for your prayers to be with Adenhart's family, the Angels' organization, as well for all the families involved.

Peace and blessings.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ash and Ice

Grace and greetings.

For many years I used to write poetry. I had two books worth of my poems, until we accidently left them in Pennsylvania when we moved to Seattle in December 2003. I am trying to start to write again. Last week there was a "Poetry Contest" held at the local library with the topic of "New Beginnings." The following is a poem that I entered:


Black is my night
Fierce is the wind in my heart
I am afraid.
The void in my soul
Will not heal

The Fire is dying
Embers of ash on ice
I implore the pitch
To cover me
As a blanket of endless sleep

The Embers fade
Lost for all time.
Fingers take hold
I do not resist

Not Death, but Life
Answers my cry
I witness hope
I meet joy
I experience life dancing

I observe the last ember
Lost in ash and ice
Brilliance blinds
The Phoenix rising

(c) D. Ian MacInnes-Green
22 March 2009
Peace and greetings.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Grace and greetings.

Here is my meditation from tonight's service, that I wish to share with you. We have just finished up five days of Revival, and right now I am too overwhelmed to write about it. But I will be addressing the Revival within the next few days.

Emptying of Ourselves

Philippians 2.1-11

We come many times to hear this passage, and we hear it with the confidence that all is right in our world; “for every knee shall bend…confessing Jesus Christ is Lord.” But is that really what is being said here? Is that really what Paul was meaning when he wrote to his beloved church in Philippi? He was calling the church to rejoice, but not to celebrate too soon.

Hear the first five verses again, with a different understanding. “Since there is encouragement in Christ, since there already is consolation from love, since there is already sharing in the Spirit, with compassion and sympathy, MAKE MY JOY COMPLETE: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than your selves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interest of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” The church then, and NOW, is to MAKE Paul’s Joy complete: everything we do, we do it with the understanding that it is to help others. All that we do, all that we love, all that we are about, is in the humility of keeping the others in our minds.

But the passage is not just to make us a door mat for everybody to step on. Usually when we do that, we become resentful of others, even those whom we are called to serve. Think back to your worst job that you may have had in your life. Cleaning out the honey buckets? Washing the floors over and over again because of all the mud that was tracked in? What about back breaking work, in extreme weather, either the cold or heat? I can think of several jobs that I truly disliked, and even hated. But I think the worst job I ever had was while I was in High School; I was picked up by my “boss” along with 6-8 other teens, and we were dropped off in different neighborhoods to sell magazines door to door. Of course, our pay was on commission, so if we did not sell anything, we did not make any money beyond the minimum wage we were paid. As it turned out, we started after school, between 4 and 5 PM and worked until about 9 PM. By the time we got home, it was late, and there was still homework to be done. In two of my classes my grades dropped from an “A” and “B” to “D’s” in both classes. My mother promptly made me quit my job. I hated it and am lousy at selling door to door. I had to “sell” myself in order to sell the magazines, which is probably why I did not sell too many.

But as we think of our worst jobs, Paul is calling us to be of the mind of Christ, to be able to serve one another with joy in our hearts, and helping others. The only people I helped in selling door to door were my employers, has they still made money on me. Our work should not be about the money, it should be about the Glory of God, and how we are fulfilling the work of God by our employment, our work, our volunteer positions, and our very selves.

Look at your life, what you do. Are you serving God in such a way as to bring Glory to God? Do we serve others with a song in our hearts and souls? Are we of the same mind as Christ in our compassion, sympathy, love and encouragement that we do it freely, without resentment and anger? Even if we answer “no” to the above questions, hopefully it will lead us into the ancient hymn that Paul quotes to finish out this passage:
“Who, though he was in the form
of God,
did not regard equality with
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient
to the point of death—even death on a cross.
God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Peace and blessings

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Political Resurrection?

Grace and greetings.

This past week, Ted Stevens was granted a full pardon if you will from the prosecution, as it dropped all charges from his conviction last fall. The trial was flawed, and the prosecution knows that it can not overcome those issues so has dropped everything instead.

Ted Stevens said that this day would come, that he was exonerated from all wrong.

Now, the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin is asking that Mark Begich resign, because he stole the election under the false pretense that Stevens was convicted. Of course, Mark Begich has no intention of resigning. I have not heard or read if the 80 plus year old (I think 84) Stevens would take his seat back if given to him. After 40 years, he probably was use to the job, so he probably would jump at the chance.

My thoughts on the whole thing: Yes, the trial was flawed, the press and prosecution was admitting that throughout the trial. The prosecution is dropping all charges because the trial was flawed, not because Ted Stevens was innocent of all charges. Nobody has ever asked that Stevens spend time in jail, but even the Republican Senators has asked Stevens to step down. We will see where this takes us.

Other than that, the weather is trying to get above zero, but not quite there yet. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, which means next week is Holy Week and then Easter. It will be another very busy week for me.

Peace and blessings.