Archive for August, 2007


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I never would’ve believed it if I didn’t see it for myself!  But my Mom, the Matriarch of our family, turned 68  a day ago.  I was there for the turning and so were three of my other siblings, four of her grandkids and two of her son-in-laws!  We celebrated in summer fanfare on our backyard deck.  Since we didn’t have enough candles for her cakes, or should I say pies, Mike lit the fire pit to celebrate the occasion.  He even had the tikki torches going.  One of them got so excited it started consuming itself with fire!  Jeremy grabbed the torch, and for a split second, looked like one of the Olympic torch runners as he hurried over to our future pond and doused the torch in the muddy waters.  We had a great time, and Mom was rightfully bestowed with some wonderful gifts.  The highlight was the “Twilight Zone” musical birthday card from Carol and Pete.   My brother Bob sent her an Olive Oil, head bobbing figurine with a close resemblance to Mom.  She also was so excited when she received an “e-maid card” (Oops, she really meant e-mail!)!  We all joked about the e-maid that was going to clean up her room!  Happy Birthday, Mamma!  May you be doubly blessed in your 68th year!  I love you!

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It has been related that when the ground in London was cleared of the old buildings to make way for the new Kingsway, it lay for several seasons without use, exposed to the rain and sunshine.  After a while, naturalists were coming to view the cleared land.  A strange thing had happened and they wanted to observe.  In spots it is certain that the soil had not felt the touch of Spring since the days when the Romans sailed up the Thames-perhaps even before then.  When the blessed air and light had drenched the uncovered soil, a host of wild plants and flowers sprang up to be kissed by the sun.  Some of these flowers were never seen in England before.  But they were blooming in the Mediterranean countries at that very same time of year.  These many years they seemingly were dead, buried beneath the mass of rocks, bricks and mortar lying dormant season after season.  But they were merely obeying the laws of life under these new conditions and were blossoming into new beauty.


There is a simile here.  Every life, no matter how crushed and bruised by the cares and sorrows of circumstances, needs only to be laid bare to the sunshine of God’s love, and the healing touch of His grace.  Then a new life with new possibilities and new beauties will blossom forth in abundance, no matter how desolate the surroundings may appear.  (Taken from Streams in the Desert)


I wrote the following poem after having visited Mt. St. Helens in Washington state in 1995.  I was amazed that 15 years after the cataclysmic eruption new life was forming everywhere I gazed.  And so it is with God.  He can take the ashes and embers of a life torn by sin and tragedy and transform it into a thing of beauty.  To God be the glory!




Out of the desolation,

A tiny flower blooms.

Only months before,

Encased inside a tomb.

Buried ‘neath the rubble,

Of snow and ash and stone.

Destined to destruction.

Confined and all alone.


But now this thing of beauty,

Appears beneath my gaze.

Amidst the ruin lies splendor,

Worthy of my praise.


Out of the desolation,

How can this life now be?

Once dormant ‘neath the wasteland,

Now alive for all to see.


Who would have know that a flower,

Which everyone thought was dead,

When touched by the Hand of God,

Could bring new life instead.


Out of the desolation,

New life begins to grow.

Tis not man who does it.

But God, who makes it so.

Dead to self and sin

Will raise us from desolation

And bring a change within.

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Originally uploaded by karing1960@sbcglobal.net.

My heart is deeply saddened, and I grieve for the Prantle Family in their loss. This beautiful family attends the Parkway Apostolic Church in Oak Creek, WI where my brother Johnny, his wife Kristin and their kids, Nick, Ben and Natalie also make their home church. While vacationing in Washington State earlier this week, tragedy struck this family. Their 12-year-old son, Micah took ill suddenly and just passed away today. Below is an e-mail that was sent to my sister-in-law from Julian Prantle, the father of Micah.
From: Prantle, Julian L
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2007 3:52 AM
Subject: Micah update
Hey Guys,
Today has been the worst nightmare that anyone could think up. We are in the middle of our vacation in Washington State and show up to our church picnic. Micah said that he was cold, it was 93degs. out side. But it was evident that he was not well. Then his head started hurting and he was shaking. We felt it necessary to take him to the emergency room. He got progressively worse and two hours later 4:00pm he quit breathing. The prognosis was his shunt was malfunctioning. There was a lot of time just sitting in a room at Kadlec Hospital and damage done. They got a flight for life to Children’s hospital in Seattle and had surgery right away.
Things are not good. They feel that Micah may be brain dead. We are in a dark fog feeling numb at times. Tomorrow they hope that he will wake up on his own. They will do a MRI to see what damage was caused by the extreme pressure with the shunt malfunction. We don’t know how we will survive this one. We will though, with the strength that we draw from our relation with Jesus Christ. We will need lots of support. Please forward this to others that I have overlooked.
Micah was born with spinal bifida, but that didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. He was on the junior bible quizzing team along with my nephews Nick and Ben. They did so well this year, that they went to finals in Missouri and placed 4th.

Because of the lack of physical signs of any brain activity, doctors ran a test where they injected a radioactive contrast into Micah’s bloodstream. This test showed no blood going to the brain. Here is another e-mail from Micah’s father:

From: Prantle, Julian L
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: Micah Update

Thank you all for the prayers.

We did get the results from the MRI last night. The tests were not conclusive. That makes things really hard, we are not in a Black or White situation. There will be an additional test today around noon that they will inject radioactive material into his blood stream. The focus will be to see if there is any blood flow to the brain. With the lack of physical signs of any brain activity they expect no blood flow which means Micah is no longer here. There are decisions that Cheryl and I will be needing to make that no parents should ever have to make. We still want prayer for Micah. God is able. But the doctors are very honest with us and so our hope is fading, but still knowing that God is in charge and has a plan. If this means that the last pieces of Micah’s life puzzle are in place. This is to be determined. We are resting in God’s peace that He will carry us through this horrible nightmare.


Here is an e-mail from Micah’s coach:

We are all saddened and speechless and alone in our thoughts. We can not begin to understand the hurt the Prantle’s are going through. We have to stay positive in our thoughts that God is in control, even though I must admit I am having trouble doing that right now. True to form Micah is helping others with his early passing with the gift of his organs. I am reading in the book of Job right now. God took all of Jobs kids and all his wealth and covered his body with painful soars. His wife told Job to curse God and die. Job kept his faith and continued to honor God. The lesson for us all is to keep faith even when we want to be angry or expect some reasonable answers. Life is very fragile; we should not take it for granted. Tell your kids or parents that you love them often, you might not get another chance, have no regrets. Micah’s picture is in a prominent place on my office wall and I will look at it often and smile good thoughts of his first basket that Julian has on film or him asking me midway through the first quarter if it’s almost time for him to get into the game. Micah was more than basketball, although he inspired us all with his lack of fear in taking a charge by someone three times his size. He always had a peaceful smile on his face that lit up the gym. He was fun to be around and a testament to his upbringing by wonderful parents. My life is richer because I met and became friends with Micah and his family. He will be missed in many ways.
With a very heavy heart,
Coach Timblin
I am amazed at the generous, magnanimous spirit of Micah’s parents, Cheryl and Julian in donating their son’s organs to other children who may be needing them. I’m sure this would not be an easy decision for any parent to make. I received an e-mail earlier today that said they have found matches for his organs. A boy in San Fransisco is getting Micah’s lungs. A 7 year old boy in California is receiving his heart, especially pray for this one, as they have had to wait for some medicine Micah was on to wear off before giving it. Children in Seattle, most likely right there in Seattle Children’s Hospital, will be getting both his kidneys and liver. Please keep the Prantle family in your prayers at this difficult juncture in their lives. May something good come out of this heartache. May Micah’s spirit live on in the children who will be blessed recipients of his organs.

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broccoli_lifting_weights1.gifThe army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia.  At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated.  The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were losing their effectiveness in combat.  Alexander immediately commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned.  The men complained bitterly but soon came to see the wisdom of the order.  Someone wrote, “It was as if wings had been given to them¾they walked lightly again.”  Victory was assured.


As soldiers of Christ, we must ride ourselves of anything that would hinder us in the conflict with our spiritual enemy.  To win, we must “lay aside every weight” that would drag us down and rob us of our strength and endurance.  The watchword must be:  Off with the weight!  ¾R.W. D  (From Our Daily Bread)  Throw off the weight of the world before it drags you down. 


Hebrews 12:1 ….”let us lay aside every weight, and the sign which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

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