Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm Not Bad Either

When Lindsey and I went cliff jumping the other day, only the pictures of Lindsey turned out (gee -- I wonder who had to come out of the ocean to take them). Since bike riding was still out of the question from the mess --- and the surf was really up on the ocean, Lindsey wanted to jump again. She tried to get her sisters, but . . . So that left me. I worked with Nancy to use the camera so that it could take multiple shots and as you can see, she did pretty good. I managed to service a second jump. The pictures of Lindsey however did not turn out.

This is our last night. Tomorrow afternoon we board a AA 767 and head back to the hot Midwest. Even though the surf is rather rough, the weather is beautiful.

Nancy and I are sending the girls to a movie so that we can have dinner at a restaurant that we ate at 20 years ago. (I hope it is the right one --- my memory is not as good as it used to be.

The challenge comes on Monday as I as sure I will want to swing by the church. Guess I will have to get out my golf clubs!


Not always the way we plan

Yesterday at 1:50 in the morning the phone in our hotel rang to let me know that our bike ride was being canceled! BOO HOO It was the one thing that I was really looking forward to do, the thought was that we might be able to do it the next day, but tropical depression Dennis has really upset the apple cart.

Since we couldn't go biking, we though we would go to Hana instead. Of course it rained all day --- but the views were still spectacular.

We drove all the out to Charles Lindbergh grave, which is besides a pretty little church in the middle of nowhere.

He hiked a bit, but the rain was just too much and so we headed back to Kaanapali.

We stopped to have dinner along the beach at the Aloha Mixed Plate and saw another beautiful sunset. Pat, your right --- why don't we notice them at home, because they are certainly there!

Time is passing too quickly.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Too Busy

We have been way too busy and I am finding it hard to find the time to add pictures to my web. I will try tomorrow afternoon. We get up tonight to catch a ride to ride down MOUNT HALEAKALA a dormant volcano. The ride is 38 miles downhill. First we will get to the top to catch the sunrise. Should be fun, but the ride comes at 2:30 am.

Tonight we are going to a magic dinner show. It should be fun.

Today was spent at the beach and in Lahina town.

Here is a picture of the UMC --- really simple but pretty church.

Before that Lindsey and I did some cliff jumping. Nancy tried to take some pictures, but all she managed was the splash. Lindsey jumped again so that I could get her picture.

Jumping once was enough for me!

Try to add more tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Paradise Found!

It's a funny thing. Now that I have finally unwound --- it takes about a week --- the girls are ready to go home. After last night's sunset, I don't know why anyone would want to ever leave!

Today we hung out on the beach --- playing in the waves and just having a good time. Tonight we are off on a Sunset Dinner Cruise. Tommorow we are going to a magic show, Friday we bike down a Volcano (Haley is terrified!), Saturday we are going to drive to Hana and then Sunday Lindsey will get her wish and we will go Parasailing. Then it is time to go home. Wow the time goes way too fast.

I am being called to go take my shower so that we can head into Lahina for our dinner cruise. Aloha everyone!


I told you about the wonderful Bed and Breakfast that we stayed at in Volcano. Let me tell you about the place we are staying at in Kona. Kona is a wonderful little resort town. The hotel we stayed at is a dump!!! Thank goodness we are only here 2 nights! If you come to Kona, and I will come back some day — do not stay at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel!

Regardless, we had another wonderful day in paradise. Today we went out snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay. WOW! We had a great time. This bay is famous as the place that the Hawaiians killed Captain Cook (partially because he didn’t know how to swim — but that’s another story). The fish and the coral were awesome. On the way back to the dock we saw some spinner dolphins doing there dancing for us. Great day!

Tonight we are gonna head toward a beach side restaurant to watch the sun go down. Then off to the Sheridan Hotel to see the Manta Rays who come into their bay to feed.

Tomorrow we head to Maui.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Finding God

This morning I got up and took a walk around the place we have been staying at in Volcano. It is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Hale Ohia. As I strolled around the grounds, taking pictures of God's beautiful creation --- I thanked God for this opportunity.

We head toward Kona today, after having climbed over the lava flows to see the active volcano. I have never seen anything like it --- dreamed about it all night long. Today we will stop at some black and green sand beaches which will be rather unusual. We also will stop at some historic Hawaiian sites.

If you can't see God here --- you will never find God anywhere!!

This is where we stayed in Volcano.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Anybody Out There

Thanks to everyone who has commented about the pictures. I haven't gotten any comments on the blog --- Is anybody reading it?

We flew to the Big Island yesterday --- drove around the Hilo area, stopped at the TSUNAMI museum, Macadamia Nut Factory and some waterfalls. Eventually we arrived in Volcano. We are staying at a Bed and Breakfast on the edge of the National Park. We drove in last night for a quick look and will leave shortly for a full day in the park. Hopefully we will be able to see some of the lava flows.

Tomorrow we will travel slowly, via lots of stops to Kona.

Let me know if you are reading.

We love the big Island and are happy to be gone from Oahu!!!


Remember the Alamo! Remember the Maine! Remember Pearl Harbor! Remember September 11th. I sometimes wonder how many actually remember the first two. They were once the calls of our nation much like Remember Pearl Harbor has been for a generation. Remember. What are we supposed to remember?

Pearl Harbor is one of the most important things for all people to experience; it is important to remember. We need to remember how hateful and dishonest we can be as nations to one another. We need to remember that war always comes with a high price. We need to remember that being invaded, being attacked, helped us to rally together — much as it did to the people of Viet Nam, Iraq and so many other places.

We need to remember that the only hope is the love of God, and that Jesus Christ came to show us how to overcome evil and not give in to warfare.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Round 1

Vowed I wouldn’t work on Wrestling with God while here in paradise. Seems I just can’t get away from it. Got an interesting e-mail about someone who was scheduled to have surgery next week. He was having doubts about the surgery and another friend called and suggested a less invasive procedure. He wasn’t sure what to do, and while pondering the situation, got a phone call from his surgeon saying one of the machines that was needed for the surgery was needing repair so the surgery would need to be rescheduled. He saw it as the hand of God?

QUESTION: Did God cause that machine to break so that he could avoid the surgery?

And if God did —> what about the poor schmuck who had the surgery before the machine broke; does that mean that God does not like them as much?

How God works is one of the most perplexing issues for modern people.

What is the nature of prayer?
What does it accomplish?

These are the questions that we must wrestle with!

Can’t think of a better place to struggle with these issues.

Aloha. Steve


Had a wonderful day yesterday at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They do an remarkable job showing the various cultures that make up Polynesia. We had a great, but exhausting day.

We started the morning by heading to the Dole Plantation. They have a huge maze that you can work your way through. Jessica, Lindsey and I completed it in about 30 minutes. Haley and Nancy finished about 10 minutes later. Following that we headed up to the north shore and saw some crazy kids jumping off rocks into the ocean. Not surprisingly, Lindsey wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately we didn't have time.

Spent the rest of the day at the Cultural Center. After the show we drove back to our hotel (everyone was pretty much asleep) and I had the joy of finding the parking lot full. I drove around for a while before I finally gave in and parked at one of the outrageous pay lots.

We let the girls sleep in and soon we will leave for Pearl Harbor --- I am really looking forward to experiencing it. The rest of the day will be on the beach and getting packed up, because tomorrow early we head to the Big Island.

Won't get pictures up this morning, but will get them up tonight.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tuesday July 18

Jet lag has finally caught up to most of us.

Monday we tried to take it easy by hanging out at the beach. It was great fun, but boy was it crowded! For dinner we decided to go to "Duke’s Canoe Club", the food was excellent, but the wait was long. We didn’t get seated until about 7:30, and by the time we got home, everyone was exhausted.

Tuesday we got everyone up early so that we could go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay — unfortunately, the bay is closed on Tuesday. We quickly did some new planning and decided to climb Diamond Head instead. It really wasn’t too bad of a hike (less than a mile each way), but we did have to climb up almost 200 very steep steps. Haley is deathly afraid of heights, so I really had to coax her up the final spiral staircase.

The view from the top was spectacular! Well worth the effort.

Nancy saw in the guide book that there was a rain forest we could drive through. I must have missed it, but we did have a beautiful drive along a heavily wooded area. Then we stopped at Nuuanu Pali lookout. The view was awesome.

Nancy, Haley and I went to the ‘Iolani Palace — the former palace of Hawaiian royalty. It was sad to hear about the history of Hawaii and how a few rich men basically stole the country from the Hawaiian people. What is sad about the palace is how much of the possessions were sold off when America annexed Hawaii and how they have been lost.

We came home and crashed because tomorrow will be a long day. We will get up and head through the middle of Oahu to the Dole plantations (one of the families that got rid of the Queen), then up to the North Shore on our way to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Monday, July 17, 2006

July 17th

Good morning,
We arrived in Honolulu late last night. Got to our hotel around midnight local time (5 am at home). I got up bright and early and am waiting for everyone else to get up. Found some coffee, so I am pretty happy.

First day in paradise! Nancy has already called back to the church to check on VBS -- but I told her not to tell me anything!!! YEAH! I don't know if she got a hold of anybody.

We are going to let the girls sleep as long as they want and then go hang out on the beach. I think I could get used to this life.

I will try to put some pictures up tonight.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Well, I guess it is time to start this blog and see if it really works. It is Tuesday, 5 days until my Sabbatical begins. Everyone keeps asking if I am excited --- well, yes, BUT I am also overwhelmed. I think if I were to do it again, I would take a few days off before we leave for Hawaii; but knowing me, I would end up working, so this is just as well. Somehow I will get everything done, get packed and get on the airplane. Once they close the door, then I think the Sabbatical will begin!

I probably won't write again until next week, this was more of a test to make sure that it would work!

Thanks Ridge Church for letting this happen.
Thanks Lilly for providing the resources!