Thursday, November 19, 2015

There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship. ~ Author Unknown

Treasured friends, treasured memories.
Good morning and greeting to all, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and any others who might just be stopping by either intentionally or by accident. It's a good day to thank God for His grace, mercy, and His goodness towards us all. We open today's calendar and find it to be Thursday, November 19, 2015. Last Saturday we were privileged to attend an 82nd birthday celebration for a dear friend and even more important, a dear brother in Christ. He is currently dealing with the devastating illness of pancreatic cancer. Yet, he has such a sweet spirit and calm demeanor I find just being around him to be an humbling experience. We've been privileged to know him and his family since the mid 1970's. That's what I call a good long run of sharing and fellowship. Seeing all of those who came to the celebration was like taking a walk back in time. While we were there we also enjoyed the fellowship of so many other dear ones who have impacted our lives. Too many to count. Last Christmas season we were able to do some photos in our home for a family that are so dear to us. We loved doing it and it all turned out great. At the birthday gathering these dear friends gave us a hardbound 22 page keepsake of all those Christmas photos. It was a huge surprise. Santa has been moved to tears before. Holding and loving on a physically or mentally challenged child has that impact. Trying to find words for a child asking Santa for their home to made whole or a healing miracle is oh so difficult to deal with. Well, when those folks gave us that keepsake it had the same influence. Looking through that book made me aware of the joy that a Christmas photo can convey. We know that real Christmas joy comes from the Christ of Christmas. And, when I see photos like those in that little book, well, I can't help myself, it even makes me think I just might be the real Santa. Thanks for this most wonderful gift.

I carried two of our grandsons out to eat the other evening. Sunday evening. Breakfast food. That should be hard to mess up. Right? Everything about our time at that restaurant can be summed up with one word, atrocious. This particular location was once an excellent place to go. It is part of a huge national chain. It was Sunday evening and the people there were dragging. It was like we had come into a diner that was stuck in slow motion. The young lady who waited on us looked like she had worked five straight shifts. She wasn't discourteous in any way. She also was not particularly courteous. I know that sounds odd but I believe she was impacted by the environment. She was tired. It showed. When we finally got our food it was acceptable but barely so. I didn't want to start sending food back because we needed to get home and get to bed for work and school the next day. I did leave a good tip for the young woman. Not because she deserved it. Just because. I rarely ever report on my experience because we typically vote by not coming back. However, I checked the receipt and logged onto their comment website and pretty well described the entire situation as I saw it. It's sad because it was at one time such a good place to eat. I received one of those form emails about the great disappointment of the district manager and how that he would be working with store management to review my experience. Oh yeah. One last thing. It wasn't inexpensive. That certainly has something to do with expectations. Right?

I know what you have in mind. Why didn't I tell you what I was really thinking? And, why the tip? I know some folks write down a penny to convey their displeasure. I've told this before but it is something that has always stuck with me. Bro. John Bisagno, a well known pastor and evangelist in the Houston area for many years told about a similar restaurant experience that he and his wife had. His wife was beside herself. Everything was lousy. When the check came Dr. Bisagno said he felt in his heart that he should give the lady a generous tip so he did. His wife was incensed and demanded to know why in the world he would do such a thing. He explained that while it wasn't a great experience he didn't know what was going on behind the scenes and even what might be going on in that particular lady's life. Therefore, he decided to show gratitude despite the circumstance. I heard him talk about that a long time ago. I suppose I had somewhat of a similar thought the other evening. At any rate, we do live and learn even though we have to wonder how anyone can mess up eggs, ham, and hash browns especially if that's what they do all day long. Okay. Enough already. I've probably gotten enough mileage out of that experience that I should just drop it. But, that doesn't mean I will be going back there anytime soon. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless us all is my prayer.  Amen. ....More later.

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