Archive for March, 2014

“36TH ANNIVERSARY”

March 18, 2014

Wow!!!  What a journey! 

Bride & Groom

March 18, 1978

What a beautiful bride on our wedding day.  The day began, for me, with discovering the shoes I purchased for our wedding were a mismatch.  One shoe was size 10 1/2 and the other was a 9 1/2.  I was in College Station and the wedding was taking place in Houston.  Pam was already in Houston and I was getting ready  to travel to the wedding site to marry the love of my life.  It was scramble  time when I discovered the “shoe” problem.  The shoe store didn’t have a matched pair of the same shoe style.  (Someone else was going to  discover they had the same problem.)  So, after selecting a different style, getting ready in my wedding outfit, I traveled to Houston to begin a wonderful adventure.

Things do not always go according to our plans.  The preacher was late, but I will always remember the beginning of the ceremony.  I had been waiting patiently to see my bride and when she entered the room, I saw the most beautiful bride I have ever seen.  We spent the night at the hotel near the airport and left early the next morning for The Bahamas.

Bahamas

The Bahamas

No adventure in life is without problems.  We were in The Bahamas for 5 days and Pam’s luggage didn’t arrive until the day we were leaving.  We came down the  elevator to check out and they informed us her luggage had arrived…just in time for us to load it for the return trip home.  We had a memorable time and adjusted our plans for the missing luggage.

As I look back, I have a real understanding of the wedding vows we took on our wedding day.

“I take you to have and to hold from  this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and  to cherish; from  this day forward until death do us part.”

These vows can only be accomplished under the watchful eye of God.  During this adventure we have traveled to the mountain tops and the valleys.  We have experienced everything, except death, included in  the vows we took that day.  During our journey, Pam was diagnosed with an incurable disease.  That was one of the valleys of our journey.  During this time, God spoke to Pam and told her, “give Me this day!”  Since that time we have tried to do exactly that knowing that God was with us and He has promised never to  leave us.  If you want to read more of this part of our  journey, you may find it in  the  archives titled “THE STORY OF A MIRACLE.”  (begin with part 1)

To be joined together as husband and wife was our greatest blessing.  Second to that was the blessing of being joined together as father and mother to Lyndsey.

Pam & Jerry2

Now, after all  those years

How can it be that Pam gets younger and more beautiful?  As you can see from  the pictures above, she is still young beautiful and have aged and my hair is gray.  I always tell Lyndsey that it is “BL.”  (Before Lyndsey) 

 

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“WHAT WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS?”

March 13, 2014

For many years I have seen some people who wish “the good old days” were back.  Then there are those who believed they were now living in “the good old days.”  “The good old days” mean different things for each generation…I believe.  When times are good, the generation of that day believes they are living in the  best of times.  To them, “the good old days” were not so great.  Maybe the  standard of living was not as good or there were too many hard times.  To the older generation, “the good old days” may have been when the standard of living was not considered as good as the present time, but the quality of living was much better…truth and morality were a way of life.

Think what you may.  The “good old days” to me may be a little different from you.

These were some of my “good old days:”

I lived on a farm and we ate from  the crops grown in the field.  We ate biscuits and  cornbread and we would really get excited when mom or  dad brought home what we call “light bread.”  Baked in a commercial bakery and  already sliced.  It was a thrill to take a fresh slice of bread, fold it, take a bite out of the crease, and make a round hole in  it took look at your brother through.  That was a good time.

Every once in a while, a trip to the grocery store resulted in a small jar of olives.  That was a real treat and  I always thought  I  could eat the whole jar.  But, I had to share.

What fun I had on a rainy day!  I would get an empty thread spool, a bar of soap, and a saucer and catch a little rain in the saucer.  Then  I could wet the spool, rub the end of the spool on the soap until it had a thin film of soapy water over the hole.  This works much like the  bubble kits kids buy at the store today.  Then I could blow through the end of the spool until a bubble formed.  If I had a friend with me, we could have a contests.  Who could blow the largest bubble?  Who blow a bubble and send it out  into the rain and see how far it would go before a raindrop popped it.

It was a real adventure to climb up a sycamore tree and take my pocket knife and carve my initials in  the  bark.  Sycamore trees are really great for carving in the soft, smooth bark.

I remember the family ate all  their meals at the same time and at the table.  We had no television, so there was no option  to watch TV while eating a meal.  My dad believed when it was meal time it was time for the family to be together.  The meal began when all the family was seated at the table. There were exceptions to this rule, but the reason must be a good one.

Teachers taught us in school and sent us home with “homework.”  We were not sent home for our parents to do the teaching…it was actually done in class and parents were not expected to do the teaching.

After arriving home  from school, it was not a time for leisure.  There were chores to do and then homework.  The incentive for finishing homework was the “free” time afterwards.  These were good days.

When I look back at the relationships with others during my “good old days,” people seemed to care more about each other than in  the current days.  Today I watch the news and read the newspapers and I see a lot of meanness in  this world.  It might help if the media would get excited about the good things of the day and report them.  Contrary to popular belief, I believe more news would be watched on TV and more newspapers sold.  Just my opinion.

*****

God brought Israel out of Egypt and led them to the promised land.  He protected them on their journey.  He was always present and when He  performed miracles, the Israelites would build a rock altar as a reminder of what God did at that place.  These were Spiritual markers for Israel.  When times were bad, they could remember what God had done for them in the  past and know that  He would be with them during their hardships.

Each of us today have experienced God’s presence in time  of need.  These are our  Spiritual markers.  When we face difficulties on today’s life journey, we should remember God’s presence in the past and be confident He is watching over us today.

Have great day!

Each day:  “Cry a little,  laugh a little, and meditate a lot.”  You will feel much better.

“DON’T GO IN THE ROUGH!”

March 12, 2014

A number of years ago, we went with a group to Horseshoe Bay Golf Resort for a weekend of fun and golf.  There were six couples on  the trip.  The women either played golf or went shopping.  I don’t remember which activity was number one on the women’s agenda.  Either way, the men played together and the women shopped or  golfed.

There were three golf courses at that time…Slick Rock, Applerock, and Ram  Rock.  We  played all three of them during  the weekend.  Slick Rock is down in the valley.  Applerock and Ram Rock were up in the hills.  The first day we played SlickRock and ventured to the hills the next morning to play Applerock.

We arrived on  the number one tee and the course marshall gave us instructions on playing Applerock.  Part of our instructions were about playing from the rough.  He said we could play from  the rough if we could find the ball.  He also told us they had killed a rattlesnake in the rough the day before…the first of  the golf season.  It didn’t take us long to decide to play the ball if we could see if from the fairway and could determine if there were any snakes in  the immediate area.  If the ball landed deep in the rough, it was just “lost ball.”

Slick Rock is the easiest course and Applerock is much more difficult.  Ram Rock is very difficult and when you tee off, you don’t see civilization until you finish on #18.  This was early in the development and there were not many houses built on this course.  We saw many deer during our golf round on Ram Rock. It is probably more populated today.

*****

When we stay on the path God has planned for us, there may be difficulties but our Protector is always there to keep us safe.  When Israel was delivered from Egypt, God was there twenty-four / seven.  He provided a cloud by day for their protection and fire by night to guide them.  When they drifted into the  rough (disobedience), they were in danger.  God was always  there to guide them back to safety.  We must always follow the path where God is leading us and stay out of the dangerous rough.  He is ever faithful and  wants only the very best for those who truly love Him.

Have a great day!

“IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE”

March 11, 2014

I have been struggling today for a subject for this blog.  I asked Pam what would be a good subject to write about.  She said she wasn’t my inspiration for blog-writing.  She recommended (told me) to get my coffee and sit on the deck for a few minutes.  I thought that would be a good idea…maybe God could give me inspiration.

I have to  confess about missing the Texas Longhorn vs. Hawaii Warriors baseball games this past weekend.  SxSW is in  Austin and my regular hotel was booked.  Lyndsey offered to have us as her guests, but we opted out.  I don’t regret it because the baseball stadium can be really cold when the temperature is in the  40s and 50s.  It was also raining for Saturday’s double-header.  It was much warmer listening on the computer at home.  We miss very few week-end home stands.  If the Longhorns are at home, we are there.

Back to the deck and  inspiration.  It is a beautiful afternoon and I believe that is really the sun shining.  It has been pretty cloudy, foggy, and overcast for quite some time.  While enjoying my coffee, I looked over by the  sunroom and this is what I saw:

photo (15)

No for a closer look:

photo (16)

So, what is so inspirational about this.  It’s a little interesting to me.  The clock has been wrong since the time change last fall.  I have been meaning to take it down and set it to the correct time.  I am a man of patience and I guess I thought if I were patient, the clock would show the correct time in the spring.  And it does!  No, that’s not what I thought.  I just kept putting it off.

One thing I didn’t forget this year was a schedule of picking up  the millions of leaves and pine straw that cover our property every fall and winter.  This year, I kept up with the  job and  the yard has looked pretty good all winter.  Pam even gave me a new Stihl leaf blower for my birthday in  January.  My old one had either gone on strike or just quit on me.  This new blower is a jim-dandy and a few weeks ago, when the leaves dried out a little, I had a “blowing” good time.

Now that my clock is back to the  correct time without requiring me to take it down  from the wall and make the proper adjustment, maybe I won’t have a blog-writing block.

It will soon be time for yard mowing again.  My fruit trees are beginning to have buds and the grass will be turning green soon.  This is the first year that my lawn has been brown due to the lengthy cold weather we have experienced.

It’s baseball season and I have to schedule my yard work to not interfere with the games.  So, it’s time for a change in my schedule to accomplish.  It was and has been time for a change for my patio clock since CDT changed and became CST.

  If you want to be a huge help, make a comment and give me a subject that would be of  interest.

****

It is just as well we all get accustomed to changes.  When we strive to walk the  path God has planned for us, it will always be a time  for change.  We plan our lives and are happy and  satisfied with those plans.  At the time, we believe we got everything solved and never think “it’s time  for a  change.”  With changing times and a changing world, we must always be ready for change in order to stay on the right path.  We must continually listen for God to point out the changes necessary to bring glory to Him.  When we are not willing to make changes, our relationship with God suffers.  God created us with a void that only He can fill.  True peace and  happiness is when that void is filled by Him.

So, let’s be willing to make changes.

Have a great day!

A NEW COAT FOR “D”

March 10, 2014

Pam and I were members of a deer hunting club for years.  It was a great club with families rather than one for men only.  As with any organization, there were a few simple rules.  During the first two weeks of the hunting season, each hunter needed to be on their deer stand before sunrise and in the afternoon before 4 PM.  The reason for this was so there would be no traffic by or near the stands that may spook the dear.  “D” was a member of the club and many times he would drive by my stand after sunrise.

We had a camphouse where the members could gather after the morning hunt and cook breakfast and tell about the large buck that got away.  A number of times I “hinted” to “D” that when the birds were singing it was too late to be driving to his stand because the birds don’t begin to sing until the sun has risen.  But, he never took the hint.

Another rule was not to hunt another member’s deer stand without their permission.  One of the women on our lease, “S,” had a real nice stand with a propane heater for nice cozy hunting, or reading & napping.  One one occasion, “S” found a coat in  her stand.  She recognized the coat as belong to “D.”  So, the  next time we were all having breakfast, “S” informed “D” that he had left his coat in her stand.  Without blinking an eye, he said, “No, it was my coat.”  “S” said okay and dropped the matter.  The next time we were having our breakfast, “D” was sporting a new hunting coat.  Imagine that!

“D”

There would have been no problem if “D” has just said thanks and let “S” give him the  coat.  But, it was necessary for him to buy a new coat.  It was much like getting caught with your hand in  the  cookie and claiming your were not eating the cookies.

*****

How often do  our actions harm someone and we justify it in some way?  Our conscience tells us we have wronged the person but we convince ourselves our actions were okay.  We can kid ourselves, but God knows our thoughts and intentions.  We may be able to fool ourselves, but we never fool God.  The result is much like the story above.  There is a time for payment.  Maybe not at the time of the offense, but there will be a time of payment.  We may have temporary relief, but our action will be on  our minds for years to come.  It is best to confess our wrongful action and receive forgiveness from the person wronged and our merciful God.  This will bring a bright new day.  God created us for relationships.  We are to have good relationships with others and, most important, have a close relationship with our Creator.  Our actions should always bring glory to our God.

“GIANT BASEBALLS”

March 7, 2014

Pam and I traveled to Minute Maid Park in Houston for the Baseball College Classic.  The Longhorns play in the tournament every other year and we always enjoy attending the games.  This year Texas was undefeated for the weekend and won the championship.  They played Rice on Friday night, University of Houston Saturday afternoon, and Sam Houston State on Sunday morning.  We saw some really good baseball.  After Sunday’s game, we left to eat at one of favorite downtown restaurants and decided to take a picture outside the stadium.

Giant Baseballs

Giant Baseballs at Minute Maid Park

Forget the baseballs.  Focus your attention on a beautiful Longhorn baseball fan.  I am behind the camera, so this is Pam.  This was a good decision on who will pose for the picture.

After looking at these giant baseballs, I thought that I could probably hit one this size.  Maybe!  But, then again, it would take a giant pitcher to throw a giant baseball.  Even with my imagination, I can’t picture what would happen if I faced a giant pitcher throwing a giant baseball.  I believe it best that I just remain a Longhorn fan and stay off the playing field.

It was a great weekend just being together and sharing our love for baseball.

*****

During our lifetime, we will face many giants.  David faced the giant Goliath with only a slingshot.  This would probably compare to me facing a giant baseball being thrown by a giant pitcher.  How was David able to face and defeat Goliath?  He was not alone and knew it.  He knew that his Lord was with him and he approached and defeated Goliath boldly.  He knew that he was only God’s instrument in carrying out His purpose.

As we face our own giants, we must not cower and retreat.  By faith, we must boldly face those giants and depend on a God who promised He  would never leave or desert us.  Fear of these giants is really the enemy and it is only God who can replace this fear with boldness and faith when we are obedient to His commands.

Have a great day and be blessed!

“EVEN BROKEN THINGS CAN BECOME BEAUTIFUL”

March 6, 2014

Before Christmas I was turning a bowl for Pam’s company party.  I cut out all the pieces and glued them together.

Bowl#1

The next step was to mount the bowl project on the lathe to begin balancing and preliminary shaping of  the  bowl.

Bowl#2

After balancing, shaping, and removing all the excess wood to make the sides of bowl much thinner, I was beginning the step of smoothing both the inside and outside of the bowl.  A friend of mine had asked to come by and watch the final steps of finishing the bowl.  In rough balancing of the bowl, the lathe  is turning at about 850 RPMs.  The final shaping and smoothing, the bowl is  spinning at about 1,150 RPMs.  I was getting the sides of the bowl thinner and thinner when suddenly the rings of  the bowl separated and two of the rings exploded into many pieces.  It doesn’t take much for this to happen at the high-speed of the lathe.

My friend just stood silently by and I calmly said, “Oh  well.”  It was not time to scrap the project.  It was time to remedy the disaster.  I was able to smooth the remaining to and bottom rings (along with part of the middle rings that had flown around the shop).  I then sanded the top and bottom pieces.  After two new rings had been glued together it was time to clamp all the pieces together and wait for the glue t dry.

Bowl#3

If you will look closely, you will be able to see the  original top and  bottom  of the bowl and the small rings that were left from  the  explosion.  In  the middle are the new pieces that must be balanced and turned to make the final shape of the bowl.

Bowl#4

As you can see, “Even Broken Things Can Become Beautiful.”  I believe the finished bowl was more beautiful than it would have been before the explosion.  It now had two thin rings that added additional features that were not planned in the  original project.  The bowl was also a little deeper.

Unless you had been present as my friend and I were, you would think that I had followed the original plan.  But, now you know.

The bowl was a big hit at the Christmas party.

*****
In this world, broken things are despised and thrown out. Anything we no longer need, we throw away. Damaged goods are rejected, and that includes people.  The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits and broken relationships.
There are some things in our lives that need to be broken: pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits, for example. When we feel our brokenness, God compensates.
To us, broken things are despised as worthless, but God can take what has been broken and remake it into something better, something that He can use for His glory. Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed.
God draws us, He calls to us. He longs for us to come to Him so He can heal us. Often, we are unable to hear His call because we’re so busy with other things – our lives, our families, our work, our own problems and unhappiness. Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our need. And our deepest need is to be reconciled to God. Only then can we be made whole.

The solution can never come from our own efforts or striving, but comes only from Him. Only when we recognize our need for God are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus them on God and Jesus Christ. Only when we stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about what Jesus did for us can we begin to heal. Only when we admit our need and ask God into our life, can God begin to make us whole. Only when we confess that we are broken can God make us into what He wants us to be. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place

“A NOT SO SURPRISING SURPRISE!”

March 5, 2014

During the month of September 2012 I got an e-mail from Lyndsey.  It was not the first with this title:  “Can you build this?”  I knew my answer would be “yes” before I even looked at the picture.  She has done this before and always, without thinking, I say “yes.”  And, as usual, it was necessary to take the picture and draw plans to match the measurement she wants.  Most of her requests are for a piece of furniture that will fit in its own special  place.  The last large project she requested was a sleigh bed (LYNDSEY’S SLEIGH BED – 2/8/2012 POST).  After she finds a picture of what she wants, her job is complete.  Mine is just beginning.  The new project was a bedside table to match her sleigh bed.  She wanted it 3″ taller than the one in the  picture because of the thick mattress on her bed.  After I finished drawing the plans, she replaced her mattress (not as thick) and that changed the measurements back to the original measurements of the picture.  I had already cut the lumber for the sides which had raised panels.  Luckily, I had not started putting the pieces together.  All I needed to  do was trim some of the  pieces by 3 inches.

The side table was her Christmas surprise.  The reason it was not so surprising was because after 15 months she figured the table was about ready.  We loaded the table in the Escalade and went to Austin to have Christmas with Lyndsey.  I  covered it with a sheet and left it in the vehicle until it was time for presents to be opened.  We had gone out to dinner in my vehicle, but she couldn’t see the hidden table.  (I believe she  could probably smell the hand-rubbed finish, but didn’t mention it.)

So here is the Surprise that was not so Surprising:

Side Table #1

Photo taken in my shop (the lumber is not on the top, it’s on  a shelf behind the table)

Side Table #2

Side Table in  Place

*****

We receive blessings from God that should not be so surprising.  Pam and I enjoy blessing Lyndsey in our own  small way, so I can only imagine the enjoyment God gets as He blesses each of us.  He created us for a relationship with Him and He wants to shower His blessings on us.  Our part of receiving His blessings is being obedient to His commands.  Many times our children don’t allow us to bless them.  It is the same with Gold.  We often don’t allow Him  to bless us  through our  own actions.  By being obedient to God, we are able to realize He wants a part of everything we experience…the good and the bad…the large and the small…the joy and the sadness.   All things.

Have a great day and be blessed!

“SOME PLANTS DIE FROM WINTER FREEZE – SOME DON’T”

March 4, 2014

Why do some plants die from a winter freeze and others do not?  I have grown gardens for many years and have never really wondered why this is so.  So, I thought I would check and  find the reason.

It’s Not Frost That Kills, It’s Freeze

What kills the plants is not frost specifically, but is the internal temperature of plant tissue – once it freezes, the plant dies.  Have you ever put a bottle of soda in the freezer to cool it down quickly, and then forgot about it, until you heard a loud crash in the freezer several hours later?  The loud crash is the glass breaking because the liquid inside the bottle expanded as it cooled.  This is essentially what happens to the cells in a plant when it gets cold.

Frost-Tolerant Plants

Deciduous trees, bushes, and vines go dormant in the winter by losing their soft tissue (leaves), and waiting until spring before producing them again.

Root crops (beets, carrots, radishes, parsnips, daikon, rutabagas) store all of the energy from their leaves into their roots as it gets cooler, and the ground gives them protection against the freezes.

Cole crops (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustards, turnips, watercress) can often survive temperatures below 20F.  That means those of us in temperate climates can generally grow them throughout the winter (they don’t grow a whole lot in the winter, but they don’t die and you can continue to pick fresh crop), where others can often grow them with a row cover for protection.  These biennial plants are made to last through the winter, so that they can bloom and produce seed in the spring.

Alliums (leeks, onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, chives) can survive very low temperatures (-30F).  These perennials are generally planted 2-3 weeks before first frost, and rely on the spring warmth to start putting their energy into bulbs.  Garlic in particular can benefit from a layer of mulch over the winter, to keep them protected through cooler temperatures.

Plants that thrive in warm climates have different cell structure than those in cold climates.  Plants that live through the winter produce a chemical in their cells that acts just like the anti-freeze we put in our automobile radiators.  Plants that are not frost-tolerant do not have this anti-freeze, so when they are exposed to  freezing temperature the cells burst and the plant dies.

Now I know why my onions, swiss chard, and mustard greens are able to grow during the  cold and freezing winter months.

This has been an unusually cold winter and my onions and greens are thriving…a little slow without the sun.  But when we have sunny days I see a sudden growth spurt.  We are eating some of  the green onions and am anxious for the sun to begin producing larger bulbs.  The swiss chard and mustard greens will also be ready to harvest before long.

So, as I now understand it, it depends on the strength of the cell structure in each type of plant.  This may not be interesting to you, but I have discovered over the years that we can learn something by observing plant and animal life.

****

Why should I be surprised at any of God’s creation.  Just as God created the plant cells for different climates and purposes, he also created all  animal life for their purpose.  God  created the  human body with a void that can only be filled by Him.  The cells of  animal and plant life gave each inner protection from  the outer elements.  We get our protection from the evil forces around us by the void within us that God created for His Spirit.  It is  this  inner strength that allows us, by faith, to deflect the darts thrown at us by Satan.  God promised that He would use all  things for  good for those who love Him.  With  all the problems of this world we can continue to have that inner peace because of The Spirit that lives within us.

Have a great day and be blessed!

 

“CLOSE CALLS”

March 3, 2014

There are all kinds of “close calls” and I imagine everyone has experienced some of their own.  Pam and I were on our way to the College Classic Baseball Tournament at Minute Maid Park in Houston last Friday.  We had everything all planned out:  Tickets for the games and parking were purchased on-line, we began our journey in time to get a Greek salad with grilled shrimp at Pappas Seafood Restaurant in Humble, and arrive in plenty of time for the Texas Longhorns to play the Rice Owls.

After a short visit and cup of  coffee with a friend in Cleveland, we journeyed on to Humble for a great salad.  After enjoying our meal, we started to leave and my Escalade notified me to check my tires for  air pressure.  It was about 5:45 PM, we are about 30 minutes from Minute Maid Park, and I discovered a  nail in my left rear tire.  The Longhorns were scheduled to play a 7:00PM.  You can  imagine the feeling of being in Houston at this time of day and wondering where we can find a place to get service for an oncoming flat tire.  As we began our search, Pam saw a sign reading Big Tex Tires about a hundred yards away.

We drove to the tire store and they told us they would take care of the tire in a few minutes.  After a few minutes we were BLESSED with a FREE tire repair!!! THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL.  So, now it’s time to fight the  Houston traffic and get to the baseball stadium.  All went well and after we circled by Minute Maid Park a few times looking for our parking lot.  We finally stopped and asked someone where the parking lot was…it was on the other side of the  stadium.  As we presented our tickets, we were told the Longhorns were the home team and would be using the first base dugout.  How did he know we were Longhorn fans?  Duh!  We were dressed in Burnt Orange like all good Longhorn fans.

During the three days of baseball, there were a few “close calls.”  I think most fans see close calls the way they want them fo be.  But, the funny part about instant replays on the stadium video, it’s a lot harder to argue (or support) the umpire’s call.  The umpires don’t have the benefit of replays.  They have to make their call immediately…it’s  part of  the game.  The umpire behind home plate calls the balls and  strikes thrown by the  pitcher.  Some fans  really get upset when they think they can see better from the sideline stands than the  umpire can behind the plate.  I will  admit they may have a better view on high  or low pitches…but, from side to  side!!!  We did see a few “close callson the bases that were proved wrong by the instant replay video.  But, that is  part of the game.

We had a more serious “close call” you might want to read on my posting of September 23, 2013.  It is entitled

“MIRACLES – HEARD ABOUT, SEEN, AND/OR EXPERIENCED”

*****

There are some “close calls” we don’t want to miss.  Many times we are close to that very important call or invitation to have a personal relationship  with God.  The result of our decision is either “safe” or “out.”   We either accept His invitation or reject it.  We never know when it will be too late for an instant replay or appeal.  God continues to offer His peace and salvation and the decision is ours.