Sunday, January 22, 2006

OH THE HUMANITY (and what's snow with you?)

Okay, okay, okay....
After all my sentimental recollections of Super Bowls past with my favorite team, the Denver Broncos, I was anticipating today's AFC championship with, well, uh...much anticipation! By the time I got home from church, the Steelers were on top, 3-0. But ever the optimist, I knew that Denver would not remain on the low end...that they would acheive, they would score, they would emerge victorious.
They didn't.
So the 05-06 season is over and the Super Bowl is in two weeks. As of this writing, I do not know who the Steelers will face, but I will probably watch with detached interest, knowing it is only a game .

The week has not been a total loss however. We actually had a weather event on Friday! Understand that Oregon has been perpetually rained on for, well, I lost track. We've put up with flooding and high creeks, mud puddles and mold. It's wet and soggy. Oh, sure, the higher elevations get snow, but so far, little if any of the white stuff has landed on the valley floor.
Until Friday......

The above pictures were taken in our backyard during a two hour snow storm that literally blanketed the city in a layer of white. As I looked out the door from the church office, it appeared like a major blizzard had hit. No, it wasn't a foot of snow, but it was a significant amount.

But the change of weather was not to last. The snow subsided, the temps went up slightly and the subsequent rain washed away our winter wonderland in about fifteen minutes!

Today, we actually got sunshine and partly cloudy skies. This is it offsets the dark rain cloud over my head after the Bronco game today . Okay, enough of that...time to move on!

Remember....God is on the throne and His faithfulness transcends funny weather and football games!

Friday, January 20, 2006


So January is in the air and the Denver Broncos are in the playoffs. It doesn't get much better than this. Those who know me best know that I am a loyal and long-standing Denver Broncos fan. The seeds of this loyalty were laid when I was in high school, when Denver advanced to the Super Bowl for the very first time in their existence. It was Super Bowl XII and it was as if the entire state of Colorado was painted blue and orange! I remember the electricity in the air among the students and faculty, almost like if we were to muster enough mental energy and good feelings, it would drive the Broncos to victory. The official song (which the loudspeakers played over and over again) was "Make Those Miracles Happen."
Well, as the old saying goes, "if wishing made it so...." Denver was defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 27-10.

Since then, I have seen the Broncos snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on many occaisions. And I confess, for a while, I lost track of my favorite team. But something very special happened in the late 80's. I was pastoring my first church and my wife was pregant with our first child. And as we kept visiting the doctor's office, I overheard the nurses talking about how Denver was going to advance to the playoffs! I grabbed a newspaper and got caught up on the information. My wife gave birth to a little girl, and, a little less than two weeks later, my newborn daughter and I watched Super Bowl XXI together. My daughter learned that daddy can indeed act in ways that belied his pastoral background. Denver lost to the Giants 39-20.

The following year, it happened again! Denver was heading to another Super Bowl. Oh, yeah, my wife was pregnant again too (don't write me nasty notes...I'm only children are the most wonderful thing that happened to me). Another January birth and then, a couple of weeks later, my newborn son joined my 1 year old daughter and I as we watched the Broncos fall under the Redskins 42-10. I can imagine the looks exchanged by my children, almost as if my daughter's gurgling said, "don't worry...daddy gets like that about this time of year."

We had no more children for awhile, which is just as well, since Denver lost Super Bowl XXIV a couple of years later and I didn't think my kids should grow up with that legacy. Another daughter was born in May, '91, so there was no Super Bowl to think about. We had moved to Oregon and I became involved in a new church as a support staff person.

But finally, it happened! January 25, 1998. Super Bowl XXXII against the Green Bay Packers. I heard it was a great game. I heard it had drama and excitement. And most of all, I rejoiced at the final score: Denver Broncos had won their first Super Bowl 31-24. And I missed it! I missed it! Lest you think I am a total fanatic when it comes to Denver Broncos, I would have you know that I was teaching the evening worship service at the time. After the final prayer and amen, the teen we used for child care came up and told me the good news (he had been watching the game with the kids in back).

The following year, the Broncos defeated the Falcons for Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19. What a nice thing to happen to a great team. I got to watch this one! My three children just shook their heads in wonder at their father's behavior during the game.

So I write this, the AFC championship is coming up and once again, the Broncos may advance to another Super Bowl. I can't think of any great milestones (or mile high stones) in my life at the moment that would help me look back on these days with fondness, except for the fact that I get to work with children at the church and watch their excitement and enthusiasm for a lot more significant things than football. And I'll watch and remember and rejoice, but it's all in perspective.

Just don't call me on Super Bowl Sunday....I may not be quite in my right mind.

Monday, January 02, 2006


First of all, let me thank everyone who prayed. While the flooding was definitely not as bad as the infamous "flood of '97," it was worse than the experts predicted. While our family was safe (okay, our swimming pool was creeping up there a bit!), some of the houses along the lower part of Little Butte Creek got some water. I mentioned backed-up storm drains, but I was also reminded of the smaller irrigation creeks that run through various parts of town that overflowed. One of our church family works for Search and Rescue and told us that there were several indigent folks who lost their trailers.
Overall, I believe our area dodged the worst of it. But on the other side of the proverbial coin, the main strength of the storm headed south, so our friends in northern California got hit far worse. Our prayers continue to be with them.
My children's ministries secretary was out and about the same evening I posted my last message. She was kind enough to share some of her pics. Keep in mind, this is a few hours after I took my pictures, so it shows just how fast the water situation escalated (interestingly enough, on the drive to church Sunday morning, much of the pavement had dried out. Of course, by the time services were over, it started to rain again.).

This was taken near the new visitor's center (which is under construction). Notice the bench!

The parking lot of the city hall...indistinguishable from the street!

That's a lot of water!