Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Life goes on for the living...

February 2, 2013

And life goes on for the living.

It is not really a Super Bowl Party, but friends are coming over tomorrow during the Super Bowl game. In fact when they come the game will be halfway over, the set will be on and but I am not so sure about the volume. I don’t most of my friends coming over even care about the game. The two who do care about the game will start out watching it at other venues. They both have traditions of going somewhere else on Super Bowl Sunday and watching the game. Journey of Hope board member Reece Roberts will be watching the game with friends and is coming over after the game and meal with desert. We wanted her husband Michael to come to but he with his son in Arizona this weekend. Rich Curtner, Federal Public Defender for the State of Alaska will be here too. He is also coming a little late because he watches the game with a group of friends each year at another friend’s house.

I know that Reece is a long time San Francisco 49er fan and is really pulling for them.

When the 1985 Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl I knew that it would probably be the greatest sports thrill of my life. I continue to cheer for the Bears even though my heart has been broke a few times. Again this year I had high hopes for the Bears and as the season progressed my hopes got higher. I was in California when the Bears played the 49ers on a Monday night football game. I was able to watch it on a huge movie screen for free in the theater room of our timeshare. When I went into the room, the game was about to start. There were less than ten people in the room so I had a great choice of seats. This was the first time I ever watched a football game on a movie screen. It was beautiful, the game was so much clearer than the small screen I am used to. I felt like I was in football heaven.

Heaven did not last long that Monday night. The Bear’s let me down again. Not only did they lose to a new and inexperienced quarterback; they lost in a horrible fashion. At that point the Bears went from a shoe in for the playoffs, to not even getting there. When the Bears missed getting into the playoffs on the last day of the season, head coach Lovie Smith was fired.

I liked him. He was a popular coach. He was a good coach and well respected. He had a winning record, and even took them to the Super Bowl once.

So right now football is not all that important to me but I would like to see San Francisco win. I actually picked the 49ers at the start of the season to win the Super Bowl. Then the Bears came on strong, oh well, we have been through that.

Another thing the 1985 Bears have been and will always be: Healers

So why would I have a Super Bowl Part on Sunday?

I want Reece Roberts and Dale Kelley to meet. Dale is one of our newest board members. She recently retired as a pastor of a neighboring church here in Anchorage minister and moved to the Seattle, Washington. I think she spent about 17 years in various cities here in Alaska as a pastor. She was the director of Alaskans Against the Death Penalty before I moved here. In my 13 years here I have only known her as a preacher.

Dale is failing her retirement. She was called by the Alaskan United Methodist Church Conference to come back to Alaska for 3-4 month to fill the pulpit as interim pastor at First United Methodist Church of Anchorage, AK.

That is my church.

Dale Kelley is coming to my city and to my church. What an opportunity this is for the Journey of Hope. From the moment I heard Dale was coming I have been overjoyed. I pray a lot a lot over the years and I think Dale is an answer to many of those prayers.

What is one man’s blessing can be another man’s pain.

Our pastor, Ron Myers was in a horrible car accident a few weeks before Christmas. It happened on the second Sunday of Advent.

I will always remember that because Ron had asked Kathy and me to light the candles and do a reading during the morning service. After the service Ron gave two homeless people who had been hanging around the church, a ride to Girdwood, a beautiful 45 minute drive from Anchorage. They asked Ron for a ride, where they claimed would be on the way to a new start.

Ron, who is a Good Samaritan, tried to help the people, gave them a ride and as a result was involved in a horrific head-on collision. Ron is lucky to have survived. It took a long time to extricate Ron from the totaled car. He broke his right hip in two places and crushed the bones in his right leg. I didn’t know about the accident for about four days.

It was mentioned in the paper but no names were given. . I went to see Ron the next day the hospital and he was a real mess. I called Kathy as soon as I walked into the hospital lobby. Telling her what I had just seen brought tears to my eyes. But each time I see him now he looks much, much better. More about Ron later.

Dale Kelley, new Journey of Hope board member gets a call from headquarters, and now she is my interim pastor. I have been trying to get Dale and Reece together for the last month. For one reason or another each of the three previous attempts always found someone not being able to make it, usually last minute stuff.

I leave Alaska for 5 weeks on Wednesday and I wanted them to meet before I left. I asked my great friends Barb Hood and Dirk Sisson to join us too. They are the greatest. They are the greatest Journey of Hope supporters in recent years. We are going to have great company and great food. Since I will be gone from Alaska for so long I am making it also a bit of a bon voyage gathering. Chilled Jumbo Shrimp, Alaskan king crab legs, filet mignon, deviled eggs, smoked salmon and other culinary delights, not to mention my famous macaroni and cheese.

It will be a royal meal for royal people. I love them all.

Super Bowl night highlight will be when Reece meets Dale. Two wonderful people, who are Journey board members, will meet each for the very first time. I want that moment to be memorable occasion for all of us.

The Journey of Hope is getting ready to spring forward and we have in place the board we need to keep us on course. Dale and Reece are part of that team.

I can’t wait till tomorrow, not for the game, but for the Journey.

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