What an eventful week! Where should I begin?
1. My dad’s visit
2. My son’s baptism
3. My friend Frank’s visit
4. JPUSA’s tenth annual “Fest-4-Us”
I wrote earlier about my mother’s recent death and asked for prayers especially for my dad. If you haven’t been to the blog I set up for her memory lately, there have been some really neat comments in the last week. On Tuesday night my dad arrived here in Chicago. Of course we’d all been eagerly anticipating his coming, the grandkids waited by the elevator to see him the very instant he arrived. He stayed with us from Tuesday through Sunday, sleeping in my son’s bed. It was such a joy to have him with us. We all visited Chinatown together by EL and did some light shopping. On Thursday night dad treated a few of us JPUSAs to his insights on Renewable Energy. We discussed different things we could do to move JPUSA into the green zone. I learned that going green is every bit as much about power consumption as it is infrastructure change. People have to be willing to change old habits. Dad did a lot of reading and writing while he was here. He devoured four books–I swear. One of which was CS Lewis’s book A Grief Observed, a gift from Jon Trott. He wrote at least two articles by hand, as he always does. On Sunday after lunch, dad helped baptize Chris Aaron, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
My Son’s Baptism
My son Chris Aaron will be turning eleven in a few weeks. I can’t believe how time flies. He expressed the desire to be baptized. Martha told me he’d been talking to her about it for some time. At first I was a bit offended that I was somehow out of the loop on this. So I copied a bunch of pages from the Book of Common Prayer on baptism–from the catechism, the order for Holy Baptism, and the order in a typical service. I know that sounds funny, but it was important to me that Chris Aaron really know what he was getting into. First I had him read it alone. He came back smiling and said it was cool, like a Play. I like that. Then Friday morning we went over the whole thing together. I made sure he understood the range of things involved in Baptism: renouncing the works of the Devil, public proclamation of faith, and entrance into the Church. He got it. The actual baptism was much less formal.
My friend Frank’s visit
I first met Frank Zubek in Springfield Missouri late last year. I blogged about him then. The Saturday before last I met him at Navy Pier for the American Inventor auditions. I stood there with him for like six hours in the cold drizzling rain. He was pretty bummed when they weren’t interested in his invention after all that. Well, I brought Frank and the men who traveled through the night to get him here back to the House at JPUSA. I took them on a tour and then set Frank up with a room. Each day, from Saturday to the next Saturday, I took Frank around the city and talked with him about where he was coming from and where he wanted to go. He decided to stay on the streets and continue working hard to market his cube. We had a fun week together. Frank will keep in touch and I’ll be praying his cube takes off for him.
JPUSA’s tenth annual “Fest-4-Us”
How shall I explain the Fest-4-Us? Shortly after Martha and I moved in, one of our pastor’s wives here at JPUSA came up with the idea to have a yearly celebration of JPUSAs own life together. We put on a big festival in Bushnell every year, but didn’t really have something just to celebrate each other as a church family and draw close together. It has looked different from year to year but it usually involves gourmet meals, concerts, movies, baked treats, inflated “jumpy things” in the side yard (you can see them in the videos above, games, and more cotton candy and popcorn than little children can work out of their system in a given period. The final night traditionally involves a steak dinner and an awards ceremony where some folks do standup comedy, skits, and show video shorts that members have put together. So, needless to say, there’s no school today and we’re all walking around trying to work the caffeine, sugar-buzz, and lack of sleep out of our bodies. I’m glad I don’t drive a fork-lift anymore.